Committee rejects proposed plumbing licensing bill

Rep. Erich Ponti's
Rep. Erich Ponti's

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – Baton Rouge Representative Erich Ponti's proposed bill that would create a new license for residential plumbers was shot down Monday.

Louisiana plumbers work 9000 hours before they are allowed to take the master plumber test. A graduation rate of 58 percent could leave the state short of plumbers. Ponti's bill was involuntarily withdrawn by the Commerce Committee.

"This bill was modeled after Colorado law," said Ponti. "They had a similar set up and journeyman plumbers, master plumbers and thought there was a need to address a residential structure.

Ponti has tried this route before and failed.

"I've been diligently working with certain parts of the group not the board as a whole but," said Ponti.

"I'm glad you're working with somebody usually you just come with these plumbing bills I just figure when you was five years old someone must have hit you with some PVC or some pipe to wrong way," said New Orleans Representative Juan LaFonta. "Every session you come back with this bill like you got a personal vendetta someone stopped up your toilet or something."

The Bill was eventually pulled from the agenda and is likely to die. This leaves the state's plumbing industry in the same posture it was in before.

"Why would you dumb down the plumbing training and break up their whole board so you could hire people who aren't really qualified to do a certain job.. because at the end of the day it's about qualifications," said LaFonta.

According to Ponti, there are nearly 6000 plumbers in Louisiana. Ponti says that's simply not enough.

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