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New Jersey Issue - Government Affairs

 SENATE, No. 1303

 STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 218th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 1, 2018

Sponsored by:
Senator ANTHONY R. BUCCO
District 25 (Morris and Somerset)
Senator SAMUEL D. THOMPSON
District 12 (Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean)

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes licensure for master hearth professionals.

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

An Act concerning the licensure of master hearth professionals and amending and supplementing           P.L.1968, c.362. 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

1.   Section 2 of P.L.1968, c.362 (C.45:14C-2) is amended to read as follows:

      When used in this act,

Existing Plumbing Definitions:

      (a)  "Master plumber" means a person licensed pursuant to this amendatory and supplementary act who has the qualifications, training, experience and technical knowledge necessary to properly plan, lay out, install and repair plumbing apparatus and equipment and to supervise others in the performance of such work in accordance with standards, rules and regulations established by the State board;

      (b)  "State board" means the State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers established pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1968, c.362 (C.45:14C-3);

      (c)  "Act" means this act and the rules and regulations adopted under it;

      (d)  "Bona fide representative" means a licensed master plumber who is the holder of not less than 10% of the issued and outstanding shares of stock in a corporation, or not less than 10% of the capital of a partnership, or not less than 10% of the ownership of any other firm or legal entity engaging in the business of plumbing contracting in the State of New Jersey;

      (e)  "Apprentice plumber" means any person other than a master plumber or journeyman plumber who as his principal occupation is engaged in learning and assisting in the installation of plumbing;

      (f)  "Journeyman plumber" means any person other than a master plumber or apprentice plumber who installs, alters, repairs and renovates plumbing in accordance with standards, rules and regulations established by the board and who works under the supervision of a master plumber;

      (g)  "Plumbing" means the practice, materials and fixtures used in the installation, maintenance, extension, alteration, repair and removal of all piping, plumbing fixtures, plumbing appliances and plumbing apparatus in connection with any of the following: sanitary drainage, storm facilities and building sewers to their respective final connection to an approved point of disposal, venting systems, public and private water supply systems of any premises to and within the property line of any building, structure or conveyance to their final connection with an approved supply system.  Plumbing shall also mean the practice and materials used in the installation, maintenance, extension, alteration, repair or removal of storm water, refrigeration and air conditioning drains, liquid waste or sewage;

      (h)  "Plumbing contractor" means any licensed master plumber, firm, partnership, corporation or other legal entity which undertakes or offers to undertake for another the planning, laying out, supervising, installing or making of additions, alterations and repairs in the installation of plumbing.  In order to act as "a plumbing contractor," a licensed master plumber shall be the holder of not less than 10% of the issued and outstanding shares of stock in the corporation, or not less than 10% of the capital of the partnership, or not less than 10% of the ownership of any other firm or legal entity engaging in the business of plumbing contracting in the State and shall employ either journeymen plumbers or apprentice plumbers or both;

Explanation – Matter enclosed in bold-faced brackets [thus] in the bill is not enacted and is intended to be omitted in the law,
Matter underlined thus is new matter.
Matter following (New Section) is new section.
Headings Underlined In Red were added by MAHPBA for ease of navigation.
 

Master Hearth Professional Definitions to be added:

     (i)  “Barbecue appliance” means an appliance that cooks food by applying heat as a result of burning solid fuel, gas fuel, natural gas, propane gas, wood fuel, or pellet fuel;

      (j) “Hearth product appliance” means a fireplace, fireplace insert, stove or log set that offers a decorative view of the flames, and may include a passive or powered air vent heated by the flames, a convection chamber for the purpose of heating the room air by the means of gravity, or a manufacturer approved or supplied fan, and may be fueled by solid fuel, gas fuel, natural gas, propane gas, wood fuel, or pellet fuel;

      (k) “Hearth professional work” means the installation, replacement, connection, venting, inspection, repair, maintenance, or servicing of hearth product appliances, barbecue appliances, outdoor patio appliances, and space heater appliances, and shall include the installation, inspection, repair, or servicing of vents, vent connectors, masonry, metal and factory built chimney and vent systems, natural or manufactured gas piping on the load side of the meter, as well as making any electrical connection necessary for the proper functioning of the aforementioned appliances;

      (l) “Master hearth professional” means a person licensed pursuant to P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) who has the qualifications, training, experience and technical knowledge necessary to engage in hearth professional work;

     (m)  “Outdoor patio appliance” means an appliance that is located outdoors, and includes free standing, mounted or built-in appliances, stoves, fireplaces, fire pits, inserts, and gas logs, and may be fueled by solid fuel, gas fuel, natural gas, propane gas, wood fuel, or pellet fuel;

      (n)  “Space heater appliance” means an appliance that provides heat to a designated area by the means of thermal radiation or convection, and includes free standing, mounted or built-in appliances, stoves, fireplaces, inserts, and gas logs, and may be fueled by solid fuel, gas fuel, natural gas, propane gas, wood fuel, or pellet fuel.

(cf: P.L.1987, c.442, s.1)

Plumbing Board to add (2) Master Hearth Professionals:

      2.   Section 3 of P.L.1968, c.362 (C.45:14C-3) is amended to read as follows:

      There is created hereunder a State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers in the Department of Law and Public Safety, consisting of [7] 9 citizens to be appointed by the Governor, without regard to political affiliation, and except as to members first appointed, for terms of 4 years and until the appointment of their successors.  Of the members first appointed 2 shall be appointed for terms of 1 year, 2 for 2 years, 2 for 3 years and one for 4 years.  Three members shall be master plumbers of at least 10 years experience, one shall be a local plumbing inspector who has held such appointment for at least 10 years, one shall be a journeyman plumber of at least 10 years experience, 2 shall be master hearth professionals of at least 10 years hearth professional work experience, and 2 shall be representatives of the public having no association with the plumbing industry.

      No member shall be eligible for appointment for more than 2 terms.  Appointments to fill vacancies on the board shall be made for the remainder of the unexpired term.

      Members of the board shall be subject to removal by the Governor for cause.

(cf: P.L.1968, c.362, s.3)

Must be Licensed to work as a Master Hearth Professional

      3.   (New section)  Any person desiring to obtain a State master hearth professional’s license shall make application for licensure to the State board and shall pay all the fees required in connection with the application.

      4.   (New section)  A person shall not work as a master hearth professional or use the title or designation of “licensed master hearth professional” or “master hearth professional” unless licensed pursuant to the provisions of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

Exemptions to MHP Licensing:

      5.   (New section)  Nothing in P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be construed to prevent any person licensed by the State, including, but not limited to, architects, professional engineers, electrical contractors, master plumbers, or any chimney service professional registered as a home improvement contractor with the Division of Consumer Affairs, from acting within the scope of practice of the respective profession or occupation, but no person shall use the designation “licensed master hearth professional” or “master hearth professional” unless licensed as a master hearth professional under the provisions of  P.L.     , c.    (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

MHPs must comply with all applicable regulations:

      6.   (New section)  a.  The provisions of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall not deny to any municipality the power to inspect hearth professional work or the equipment of a master hearth professional, or the power to enforce the standards and manner in which hearth professional work shall be done, but no municipality, local board of health or other agency shall require any master hearth professional licensed under P.L.    , c.    (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) to obtain any additional license, apply for or take any examination, or pay any licensing fee.

      b.   The State board shall ensure that master hearth professionals comply with all applicable requirements of building codes, gas codes, and any other industry standards deemed appropriate by the State board.

 Rules of Licensing:

       7.   (New section)  Every person desiring to apply for a State master hearth professional’s license, who shall meet the qualifications as set forth herein, shall deliver to the State board, personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, a certified check or money order payable to the Treasurer of the State of New Jersey in the required amount, together with the written application required by the State board, completed as described in the application, and together with proof of qualification as described herein. 

      The qualifications for a master hearth professional's license shall be as follows:

      a.   the person shall be 21 or more years of age;

      b.   the person shall be a citizen or legal resident of the United States;

      c.   the person shall possess a valid master hearth professional certification issued by the National Fireplace Institute or an equivalent authority approved by the State board; and

      d.   the person shall have been engaged or employed in hearth professional work for a period of five years preceding the date of the person’s application for licensure.

      Proof of compliance with the qualifications shall be submitted to the State board in writing, sworn to by the applicant, and the written proof shall be accompanied by two recent photographs of the applicant.

       8.   (New section)  Every State license issued pursuant to P.L.    , c.    (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall automatically expire on June 30 following the date of its issuance.  Licenses may be renewed biennially by the State board upon written application of the holder and payment of the prescribed fee.

       9.   (New section)  a.  The State board shall require each master hearth professional, as a condition of license renewal, to complete any continuing education requirements imposed by the State board pursuant to subsection b. of this section.

      b.   The State board shall establish standards for continuing master hearth professional education, including the subject matter and content of courses of study, the selection of instructors, and the number and type of continuing education credits required of a master hearth professional as a condition of license renewal.

      c.   The State board shall not require completion of continuing master hearth professional education credits for an initial renewal of license.

Home owners exempt from needing License:

      10.  (New section)  The provisions of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall not apply to a single family home owner who performs hearth professional work on the person’s own dwelling.

      11.  Section 2 of this act shall take effect immediately and the remainder of this act shall take effect on the 120th day next following enactment, except the State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers may take any anticipatory administrative action in advance as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

Explanation – Matter enclosed in bold-faced brackets [thus] in the bill is not enacted and is intended to be omitted in the law,
Matter underlined thus is new matter.
Matter following (New Section) is new section.
Headings Underlined In Red were added by MAHPBA for ease of navigation.

STATEMENT

     This bill amends and supplements “The State Plumbing License Law of 1968” to provide for the licensure of master hearth professionals.  To be eligible for licensure as a master hearth professional, an applicant must be at least 21 years of age, be a United States citizen or a legal resident, possess a valid master hearth professional certification from a nationally recognized body, and have at least five years of experience engaged in hearth professional work.  The bill also adds two members to the State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers who are master hearth professionals at least 10 years of experience in hearth professional work.

      “Hearth professional work” is defined in the bill as the installation, replacement, connection, venting, inspection, repair, maintenance, or servicing of hearth product appliances, barbecue appliances, outdoor patio appliances, and space heater appliances, and shall include the installation, inspection, repair, or servicing of vents, vent connectors, masonry, metal and factory built chimney and vent systems, natural or manufactured gas piping on the load side of the meter, as well as making any electrical connection necessary for the proper functioning of the aforementioned appliances.  Hearth professional work must comply with all applicable requirements of building codes, gas codes, and any other industry standards deemed appropriate by the State board.

      The bill provides that no person is permitted to work as a master hearth professional or use the title or designation of “licensed master hearth professional” or “master hearth professional” unless licensed pursuant to the provisions of the bill.  Furthermore, no provision of the bill is to be construed to prevent any person licensed by the State, including, but not limited to, architects, professional engineers, electrical contractors, master plumbers, or any chimney service professional registered as a home improvement contractor with the Division of Consumer Affairs, from acting within the scope of practice of the respective profession or occupation, but no person may use the designation “licensed master hearth professional” unless licensed as a master hearth professional under the provisions of the bill.

       The provisions of the bill do not prohibit a municipality from inspecting hearth professional work or the equipment of a master hearth professional, or from enforcing the standards and manner in which hearth professional work may be done.  However, no municipality, local board of health or other agency is permitted to require a master hearth professional licensed under the bill to obtain any additional license, apply for or take any examination, or pay any licensing fee.

       The bill requires each master hearth professional, as a condition of license renewal, to complete any continuing education requirements imposed by the State board.  The State board must establish standards for continuing master hearth professional education, including the subject matter and content of courses of study, the selection of instructors, and the number and type of continuing education credits required of a master hearth professional as a condition of license renewal.

       Finally, the provisions of the bill do not apply to a single family home owner who performs hearth professional work on the person’s own dwelling.