Just hours before plumbers planned a massive rally in Austin, Texas, Gov. Gregg Abbott used an executive order to extend the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners and its licensing law, Texas Tribune reported. The extension is through 2021. The rally is still happening today, but it’s now a thank you rally for some. Others are still showing up because they feel the executive order is just temporary and doesn’t provide a concrete solution. The turnout today was 10,000, according to Mary Conger, who organized the rally. Read on to see photos and learn more about the event called 71KPlumbStrong.
The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners was going to be shut down on September 1, 2020. The board licenses plumbers and examines work violations and licensing claims, Texas Tribune explained. Plumbers were concerned that the board’s closure would lead to dangerous work that could put people’s health and safety at risk. Without the board, anyone could do plumbing work without a license, KLTV explained. And those unlicensed plumbers might not follow safety regulations and put customers at risk, while possibly being able to underbid licensed plumbers.
Wayne Brown shared this photo on Facebook, which gives a good idea of the crowd size.
M2 Plumbing & Drains shared these photos on Facebook from the rally. One of their photos is also the feature photo for this story.
Even with the extension, plumbers are still rallying today at the state capitol. The order delayed shutting down the board until Hurricane Harvey disaster needs are met or until the 87th legislative session.
@PlumberEathan wrote on Twitter: “It’s just getting started and I bet most people will be angry at hallow promises. Not to be rude, but I doubt you will get many votes from this crowd unless you have something concrete.”
Mary Conger, who organized the rally, said the executive order was good news but the fight isn’t over.
Here’s a video from the rally.
Ed Phillips Plumbing shared this photo:
J-L Plumbing Company shared these photos.
Here are videos from the rally.
Kenneth Allen’s video here shows that the turnout was still quite impressive.
Robert Renfro also shared this video.
Here’s another video.
And more videos. This one is from Juan Salinas.
And this one from David Moreland has some good crowd shots.
Before Abbot signed his executive order, a petition over the issue on Change.org got more than 94,000 signatures.