C.S.H.B. 1487 78(R)    BILL ANALYSIS

C.S.H.B. 1487
By: Driver
Licensing & Administrative Procedures
Committee Report (Substituted)


While some Texas municipalities and regions have licensing programs for
electricians, there are no minimum standards in state law.  Forty-one
states, not including Texas, license electricians and electrical
contractors to protect the public and ensure the safety of those working
with electricity. C.S.H.B. 1487 enacts the Texas Electrical Safety and
Licensing Act, which provide minimum standards for electricians and
electrical contractors in Texas. 


It is the committee's opinion that rulemaking authority is expressly
granted to the executive director of the Texas Department of Licensing and
Regulation in SECTION 1 (Section 1305.101, Section 1305.102, Section
1305.151, Section 1305.167 and Section 1305.168, Occupations Code) or to
the Texas Commission of Licensing & Regulation in SECTION 1 (Section
1305.101, Occupations Code) in this bill. 


CSHB1487 establishes an electrical safety and licensing program under the
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Establishes the Texas
Electrical Safety and Licensing Advisory Board to advise the Department on
technical matters including examinations, licensing standards, electrical
cord requirements and continuing education.  Establishes the National
Electrical Code as the electrical code in Texas.  The Texas State
Electrical Safety and Licensing Advisory Board will be comprised of nine
members appointed by the presiding officer of the governing board of the
Department. The advisory board will have three master electricians, three
journeymen electricians and three public members. The committee substitute
sets forth licensing requirements for master electricians, master sign
electricians, journeyman electricians, journeyman sign electricians,
residential wiremen, maintenance electricians, electrical contractors,
electrical sign contractors, and electrical apprentices.  A municipality
or region may not require a person to take a municipal or regional exam if
the person has a state license.  Legislation does not prohibit a
municipality or region from requiring inspections, offering examinations,
issuing municipal licenses or collecting license and examination fees.
Electrical work must be installed in accordance with all applicable local
ordinances or in accordance with standards at least as stringent as those
contained in the National Electrical Code.  Allows the Department to
establish reciprocal agreements with states have equivalent standards.
Violation of this Act is a Class C misdemeanor.  The committee substitute
authorizes the Department to impose administrative penalties and to issue
cease and desist orders. Provides grand fathered licenses for persons
working as electricians or electrical contractors meeting specified
requirements.  Provides for effective dates for various provisions.  


September 1, 2003


CSHB1487 differs from the original by providing that the Texas Department
of Licensing and Regulation will administer the electrical safety and
licensing act rather than an independent agency.  As a result of placing
the program under an existing agency, a number of the provisions were
either deleted or added to conform to operations of the Department. The
substitute revises exemption language to more accurately describe the work
being exempted and adds several other exemptions. Under the substitute,
the Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Advisory Board will be appointed
by the Department's governing body rather than the Governor and will
advise the Department on technical matters.  Authority granted to the
board under the original bill, is granted to the Department and the
Department is required to hire an occupational and code specialist to
oversee the program. The substitute provides for annual licensing and
requires four hours per year of continuing education for renewal.
CSHB1487 also authorizes the executive director to impose administrative
penalties and issue cease and desist orders. The effective dates for
various provisions are revised in the substitute as requested by the