Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2519
By: Craddick
State Affairs


Working with electricity and electronics exposes workers, employers, and
subscribers to certain amounts of risk.  Currently, the state does not have
a board to license master electricians, journeyman electricians, or
residential electricians to set forth accountable standards for
electricians to remain safe and produce high quality work.  House Bill 2519
creates the Texas State Electrician Licensing Board for the purpose of the
establishment and oversight of standards and qualifications for certain
practicing electricians in Texas. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the Texas State Electrician Licensing
Board in SECTIONS 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, and 18 of this bill. 


House Bill 2519 establishes the Texas State Electrician licensing Board
(board) to regulate and license certain electricians.  The bill sets forth
provisions relating to the appointment of the members of the board and also
sets forth the powers and duties of the board (SECTIONS 3, 4 and 17).  The
bill requires the executive director of the board or the executive
director's designee to develop an intra-agency career ladder program and a
system of annual performance evaluations based on measurable job tests
(SECTION 5).  The bill requires the board to prepare information of public
interest describing the functions of the board and the board's procedures
by which complaints are filed with and resolved by the board.  The board is
also required to make the information available to the public and to
appropriate state agencies.  The bill requires the board by rule to
establish methods by which consumers and service recipients are notified of
board information for the purpose of directing complaints to the board.
The bill requires the board to develop and implement policies that provide
the public with a reasonable opportunity to appear before the board to
speak on any issue under the jurisdiction of the board (SECTION 6). 

The bill prohibits a person from performing electrical work unless the
person holds a license, and provides that an apprentice is authorized to
perform electrical work only as prescribed by board rules (SECTION 7).  The
bill applies to persons performing electrical duties on buildings not owned
by utilities and that is not an integral part of a generating plant,
substation, or control center (SECTION 8). 

The bill does not affect the liability of a person who owns, operates,
controls, or installs electrical equipment for an injury to a person or
damages to a property caused by defect in the equipment (SECTION 9). 

The bill sets forth licensing requirements of  master electrician,
journeyman electrician, or residential electrician applicants (applicants).
The bill requires the board to adopt rules to define acceptable practical
experience of applicants for licensure (SECTION 10).  The bill requires the
executive director to conduct an examination of applicants for licensing at
least once each month and requires the board to prescribe the content of
the written examination.  The bill prohibits an applicant who does not pass
the examination from retaking the examination until three months have
elapsed from the date of the failed examination (SECTION 11).   

 The bill requires the board to issue a license not later than the 30th day
after the date on which the board determines that an applicant has passed
the examination requirements and has paid applicable fees (SECTION 12). 

The bill provides that a license expires on December 31 of the year in
which it is issued and may be renewed annually on payment of the required
fee and compliance with the board's continuing education requirements.  The
bill sets forth provisions relating to the expiration of licenses and
authorizes the board to adopt by rule a system under which licenses expire
on various dates during the year (SECTION 13). 

The bill authorizes a municipality to request suspension for just cause of
the license of an electrician working in its jurisdiction.  The bill
requires the board to adopt rules establishing the grounds for the denial,
suspension, or revocation of a license, reprimands of a license holder, or
placement of a license holder on probation and is required to adopt rules
establishing procedures for disciplinary actions.  The bill entitles a
license holder to a hearing before the board if the board proposes to
suspend or revoke a license.  The bill authorizes a license holder whose
license has been revoked to apply for a new license after the first
anniversary of the date of revocation (SECTION 14). 

The bill sets forth provisions relating to municipal regulation of
electricians that work in that municipality (SECTION 15). 

The bill provides that a person commits a Class C misdemeanor offense if
the person violates the licensing requirements (SECTION 16). 

The bill authorizes a municipality that has a municipal licensing procedure
that includes an examination requirement to submit a copy of its
examination to the board for evaluation.  If the board approves the
examination, a person who holds a municipal license on August 31, 2001,
based on that examination is entitled to a state license of the appropriate
type without further examination.  The bill authorizes the board to approve
an examination of a municipality only if it is substantially equivalent to
the applicable examination prescribed by the board.  The bill authorizes
the board to issue a restricted-use license to an individual who presents
evidence of practical experience acceptable to the board that is valid only
in portions of this state that are not within a municipality.  The bill
requires that an applicant for a restricted-use license must apply no later
than April 1, 2002.  The bill requires the board by rule to prescribe the
activities that may be conducted by a holder of a restricted-use license
(SECTION 18). 


September 1, 2001, except that provisions requiring a person to be licensed
in order to perform electrician's duties and establishing criminal
penalties for failing to abide by the licensing requirements, take effect
January 1, 2002.