Texas Register Preamble
The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (Board) proposes amendments to 22 Texas Administrative Code §367.10.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Section 367.10 governs the instances when a plumbing company must provide disclosure of the license information of the Master Plumber acting as the Responsible Master Plumber (RMP) for the company, and of certain information concerning the Board's regulatory oversight including on company service vehicles, invoices, and advertisements. The proposed amendments, if adopted, would relax requirements concerning the display of an individual's certificate of licensure, and the signage required for plumbing service vehicles. With respect to advertising, the proposed amendments make changes to modernize the rule and account for changes in technology, such as the Internet and digital advertising platforms, and changes in the marketplace such as the proliferation of franchisor/franchisee relationships. The proposed amendments, if adopted, would expand the advertising and promotional activities expressly deemed to be exempt from the rule's requirements, thereby limiting existing regulations.
Section 367.10(a) is amended to eliminate its current text and is replaced by renumbered and amended subsection (b). Subsection (a) presently requires RMPs to display their original certificate of licensure in their place of business. A consumer can verify the license status of an individual in real time through the Internet by and through the Board's licensing database system. Plumbing services are rendered on the jobsite, typically the consumer's home or business. As a result, the consumer does not typically visit the plumbing company's office which might afford them the opportunity to inspect a certificate of licensure. Instead, the consumer can inspect the plumber's license card (pocket card) which is intended for this purpose. Moreover, most plumbing companies are small or micro-businesses, many of which operate exclusively out of a residence or from a service vehicle, and do not have a place of business in which to display their certificate of licensure in any meaningful way. Taking the foregoing into consideration, the Board has determined the requirements of subsection (a) should be eliminated.
Section 367.10(b) is renumbered to become subsection (a) and is amended to eliminate paragraph (1), which currently prohibits magnetic signs from being utilized for purposes of displaying the plumbing company's name and the RMP's license number. This change would lower the cost for compliance for regulated individuals, particularly for small and micro-businesses, and including individuals who may utilize their personal vehicle for work, and may wish to eliminate its commercial appearance when not engaged in plumbing. Changes in the marketplace also point favorably towards eliminating this restriction. Market segmentation and specialization means that many plumbing projects are sub-contracted out to plumbers who may work on projects for several different plumbing companies at a time. Versatility in signage through use of magnetic signs would promote compliance for such individuals at minimal cost, while simultaneously providing more accurate information in the field to the Board's Field Investigators, thereby improving investigation by the Board of consumer complaints.
Section 367.10(c) is renumbered as subsection (b) but is not otherwise changed.
Section 367.10(d) is renumbered as subsection (c) and is amended to remove and replace certain language concerning advertisements by a plumbing company. Subsection (d) currently imposes a requirement for the RMP's license number and the name of the plumbing company to be stated on all advertisements by a plumbing company. The proposed amendments, if adopted, would remove the current paragraphed list which largely offers guidance on what activities constitute advertisements for purposes of the rule. This information could be more easily conveyed in explanatory materials on the Board's website. Instead, the paragraphed list is replaced with a list of several activities deemed to be exempt from the advertising rule, thereby limiting existing regulations restricting advertising, and simultaneously accounting for new forms of advertising.
FISCAL IMPACT ON STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Lisa G. Hill, Executive Director, has determined that for the first five-year period the rule is in effect, there are no foreseeable increases or reductions in costs to the state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the rule. The Executive Director has further determined that for the first five-year period the rule is in effect, there will be no foreseeable loss in revenue for the state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the rule.
PUBLIC BENEFITS / COSTS TO REGULATED PERSONS
The Executive Director has determined that for each of the first five years the rule is in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rule will be a rule that is more readable and provides additional clarity on its application to some modern forms of advertising. As discussed, supra, allowance of magnetic signs should assist the Board in investigating consumer complaints, thereby benefitting the public. Limiting or removing regulations will also allow the Board to reallocate resources of its enforcement functions toward the investigation of violations of Chapter 1301 of the Occupations Code and Board rules that more directly impact the public's health, safety, and welfare.
The Executive Director has further determined that for the first five years the rule is in effect, there are no substantial costs anticipated for persons required to comply with the rule. The proposed amendments have the potential to reduce costs to regulated persons as noted in the Section-by Section Summary, discussed supra.
ONE-FOR-ONE RULE ANALYSIS
Given the rule does not have a fiscal note which imposes a cost on regulated persons, including another state agency, a special district, or local government, the Board asserts proposal and adoption of the rule is not subject to the requirements of Government Code §2001.0045.
GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT STATEMENT
For each of the first five years the proposed amendments are in effect, the agency has determined the following: (1) the rule does not create or eliminate a government program; (2) implementation of the rule does not require the creation of new employee positions or the elimination of existing employee positions; (3) implementation of the rule does not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency; (4) the rule does not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the agency; (5) the rule does not create a new regulation; (6) the rule does not expand an existing regulation; the rule limits some existing regulations, while eliminating others; (7) the rule does not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to the rule's applicability; and (8) the rule does not positively or adversely affect this state's economy.
LOCAL EMPLOYMENT IMPACT STATEMENT
The Executive Director has determined that no local economies are substantially affected by the rule, and, as such, the Board is exempted from preparing a local employment impact statement pursuant to Government Code §2001.022.
FISCAL IMPACT ON SMALL AND MICRO-BUSINESSES, AND RURAL COMMUNITIES
The Executive Director has determined that the rule will not have an adverse effect on small or micro-businesses, or rural communities, because there are no substantial anticipated costs to persons who are required to comply with the rule. As a result, the Board asserts preparation of an economic impact statement and a regulatory flexibility analysis, as provided by Government Code §2006.002, are not required.
TAKINGS IMPACT ASSESSMENT
The Board has determined that there are no private real property interests affected by the rule; thus, the Board asserts preparation of a takings impact assessment, as provided by Government Code §2007.043, is not required.
ENVIRONMENTAL RULE ANALYSIS
The Board has determined that this proposal is not brought with the specific intent to protect the environment or reduce risks to human health from environmental exposure; thus, the Board asserts this proposal is not a "major environmental rule" as defined by Government Code §2001.0225. As a result, the Board asserts preparation of an environmental impact analysis, as provided by said §2001.0225, is not required.
Written comments regarding the amendments may be submitted by mail to Lisa G. Hill at P.O. Box 4200, Austin, Texas 78765-4200, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Public Comment - Display of RMP." All comments must be received within 30 days of publication of this proposal.
This proposal is made under the authority of §1301.251(2) of the Occupations Code, which requires the Board to adopt and enforce rules necessary to administer and enforce chapter 1301 of the Occupations Code (Plumbing License Law or PLL). This proposal affects the Plumbing License Law.
No other statute is affected by this proposal. Amended §367.10 is proposed under the authority of, and to implement, §§1301.252 and 1301.302 of the PLL.
Next Page Previous Page