Commentary - Plumbers must obtain new licensing
By Torrey Westrom, State Representative, R-Elbow Lake A small change in Minnesota law was implemented last session, yet it could greatly impact our state's plumbers. The 2007 law requires a new state license to be obtained by all Minnesota plumbe...
By Torrey Westrom, State Representative, R-Elbow Lake
A small change in Minnesota law was implemented last session, yet it could greatly impact our state's plumbers. The 2007 law requires a new state license to be obtained by all Minnesota plumbers, big or small.
The old law only required "master licenses" for plumbers from communities of more than 5,000 people. The change went into effect December 1 and now all small-town plumbers are required to file for this new "exemption license." There is a December 31 deadline, leaving only a narrow window of opportunity to file.
I want to make sure all of our local plumbers are aware of this change because, if they are not, it may put them out of business.
While several other legislators and I firmly opposed this change in law during committee hearings and on the House floor, it still did pass. The chief author - a DFLer - bragged about how he had buried this provision in several bills to ensure its passage.
This law was pushed by the metro Democrats who apparently disregarded the fact this may put some small-town plumbers out of business and prevent some new businesses from starting. At the very least it will add another layer of paperwork, license costs and bureaucracy to small businesses.
Each one of our rural plumbers must file for an exemption before the December 31 deadline passes and pay an annual fee of $30. Since the fee only will cover 2007, the Department of Labor is requesting plumbers also send $30 to pay for 2008 licensing.
It's hateful to be the bearer of such bad news during this holiday season, but it's too important not to remind our rural plumbers before it's too late. Again, failure to file for the exemption license could result in plumbers being forced out of business. Being forced out of business by state government is the last thing we want to see for our local plumbers, but unfortunately it could happen.
If you are a plumber or know a plumber, make sure they know of this change over the holidays so they have time before New Year's Day to file for this new license.
Applications and exemptions are filed through the Department of Labor and Industry. For more information, and to get the necessary paperwork, visit the Web site http://www.doli.state.mn.us or call 1-800-342-5354.