The Louisiana Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, the United Association and the Mechanical Contractors Association of Louisiana helped to successfully defeat legislation that would have reduced licensing standards to meet a demand for post-hurricane workers. House Bill 601 would have changed Louisiana’s plumbing code to lessen requirements to obtain a master plumber’s license.

The bill, supported by general contractors and homebuilders, would have shifted oversight duties from the Louisiana Plumbing Board to the state Licensing Board for Contractors. It also would have adopted the International Plumbing Code as the State Sanitary and State Plumbing Code. It failed on a 14-4 vote. 

“This bill would have lessened the skill level of the master plumber and journeyman, and would have been a giant step back to the way Louisiana was in the early ‘20s, when there were bad sanitary conditions and diseases,” said PHCC-National Association President-elect Jim Finley, who is chairman of the Louisiana Plumbing Board. “The general contractors said the bill would ‘provide more boots on the ground with plumbers in them,’ but professional plumbers don’t want just anyone filling those boots.”