Louisiana is relaxing licensing requirements for installers and contractors

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The Louisiana legislature passed a bill Thursday that would give full statewide licenses to plumbers who are currently restricted to working in a specific community or local jurisdiction.

House bill 300sponsored by Rep. Phillip Devillier, R-Eunice, received final Senate passage by a vote of 31-0.

The proposal could address Louisiana’s shortage of plumbers

If the governor signs the law, he will remove an admission lock within state law prohibiting certain plumbers from working outside of a limited geographic area.

Before the state passed its master plumber licensing laws in 1990, plumbers worked under licenses issued by their local jurisdictions. Plumbers who did not receive the new state license could continue to work under a restricted license so long as they were not working outside of their local jurisdiction.

Devillier’s proposal would allow plumbers who worked under a restricted license prior to January 1, 2023 to obtain either the state journeyman’s license or master plumber’s license upon written application to the Louisiana State Plumbing Board.

Obtaining a plumbing license in Louisiana requires first becoming an apprentice, working under supervision for several years, and passing several state exams.

There are different levels of plumbing license in Louisiana. A journeyman must have at least five years or 8,000 hours of experience as a licensed apprentice, may perform installations while working for a master plumber, and supervise an apprentice. A master plumber must be a licensed journeyman or specialist engineer and can perform all aspects of plumbing work, own a plumbing business, and employ apprentices and journeyman plumbers.

Rep. Edmond Jordan, D-Baton Rouge, said the legislation would help alleviate the state’s shortage of skilled plumbers, particularly in areas devastated by hurricanes.

The legislature also removed the licensing requirements for residential subcontractors.

Senate decision 4sponsored by Senator Stewart Cathey, R-Monroe received unanimous support in both chambers.

Subcontractors may no longer need a special license to work on Louisiana homes

The resolution repeals regulations passed by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for contractors that require residential subcontractors to: a Special Classification License Working directly for a homeowner rather than a general contractor on projects exceeding $7,500. Licenses include pile driving, foundation work, framing work, roofing and masonry/stucco work.

Previously, to obtain one of the specialization licenses, applicants had to register with the Secretary of State, pass a business and legal exam, pass the trade exam for the particular specialization classification, and provide proof of liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.

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