Wednesday, June 5, 2019

#TXLEGE: Will Abbott retreat into LAWLESSNESS to protect incumbent plumbers?!?

"And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"
Matthew 7:23

Not good:
In the final moments of the 86th Legislative Session in Austin, a bill extending the life of the State Board of Plumbing Examiners was killed in the Texas House, thus resulting in the end of licensed plumbing in Texas and one of the biggest accidental victories in occupational license reform in Texas.

At least, that was supposed to be the outcome. Now, hopes for a free plumbing market in Texas appear to have gone down the drain.

Since then, plumbing trade groups have been vocally demanding the legislature return for a special session in order to protect its occupational license scheme, looking out for their own protectionist barriers to entry and trying to flush out the competition. On Tuesday morning, Gov. Greg Abbott took to Twitter to say that they need not worry:

“We’ve got this. The Legislature has given the Governor many tools in my toolbox to extend the State Board of Plumbing Examiners for two years without needing to call a special session,” said Abbott. “We will let you know very soon. Don’t worry.”
The Texas Scorecard piece goes on to contrast Abbott's recent maneuvers with what he said on the campaign trail.

It's...not flattering.

Beyond Abbott's flip-flop, however, what's really horrifying is the lawlessness.

The Texas Constitution grants legislative authority to the legislature.  The legislature didn't act.  If Greg Abbott wants the legislature to act, he can call a special session.

That should be the end of story.

Instead, Abbott's trying to invent new authority out of thin air.

It's a precedent that should scare everyone.

[Note: That Abbott (as Attorney General) once sued Barack Obama over this exact topic is, at a minimum, ironic.]

Bottom Line:  Whatever your opinion on the regulation of plumbing, it's a question for the legislature, not the Governor making...stuff...up out of thin air.

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