Missouri Mechanical License Bills

Important Update on Senate Bill 559

On February 12, 2020, MWHPBA Board Representative, Joan Nutting from Maschino's, and HBA of Great Springfield's Government Affairs Specialist, Miles Ross, met with Senator Schatz, sponsor of the bill, and several other important key people for Senate Bill 559.  During this meeting, Senator Schatz agreed to add an exemption to the bill for the hearth and barbecue industry with the full support from the bill's lobbyist.  The below wording has been added to SB 559.

 

"Mechanical contractor" shall not include design, service, maintenance, installation, and inspection of solid-fuel and gas-fueled hearth appliances, such as wood stoves and fireplaces, including manufacturer specified venting systems, fireplace chimneys, outdoor cooking appliances with manufactured specified venting systems, outdoor fireplaces and outdoor firepits. 

 

 

 

With this exemption, MWHPBA feels a huge burden has been lifted off of our members' businesses. While this exemption may not protect us from future licensing regulations, it does currently keep us out from under the HVAC umbrella. 

So, where do we go from here.  There is still a long way to go as the bill has not passed into law just yet.  We encourage our  members to call their Senators to urge them to support this bill to keep us from having to fight this fight again next year.  MWHPBA will also continue to work with Rep Schroer to make sure the House side is mirroring the efforts of the Senate.

All of this would not be possible without the support of Joan Nutting and Miles Ross, the Missouri Licensing Committee, the MWHPBA Board, the HPBA Government Affairs Staff, the MAHPBA, and most importantly all of our Missouri members who testified at the Senate Hearing or wrote and called their Senators.  Thank you for all of your support!

Bill Summary

Creates a statewide license for mechanical contractors. "Mechanical contractor", a person engaged in mechanical contracting work per the International Code Council (ICC) and NFPA 54, including the design, installation, maintenance, construction, alteration, repair, and inspection of any: (a) HVAC systems; (b) HVAC duct systems; (c) Exhaust systems; (d) Combustion air or make up air; (e) Chimneys and vents; (f) Hydronic piping systems that are part of an HVAC system; (g) Boilers, water heaters, and pressure vessels; (h) Process piping systems; (i) Fuel gas distribution piping; (j) Fuel gas-fired, fuel oil-fired, and solid fuel appliances; (k) Fuel oil piping and storage vessels; (l) Fuel gas-fired, fuel oil-fired, and solid fuel appliance venting systems; (m) Equipment and appliances intended to utilize solar energy for space heating or cooling; (n) Domestic hot water heating, swimming pool heating, or process heating; (o) Refrigeration systems, including all equipment and components thereof; (p) Backflow preventers; (q) Medical gas piping; and (r) Air, oxygen, and vacuum piping.

What We Know

  • This is a de-regulatory bill. This bill was introduced to help eliminate the number of licenses an HVAC company has to acquire.  It states only one individual from the company will be required to hold a mechanical license versus each individual installer as is currently required.  However, chimney, vents, and hearth appliances were wrapped into this bill, which currently only has licensing requirements in a handful of counties throughout the state of Missouri.

  • This is an optional license.  If the bill should pass, you will be able to continue to do business as usual.  However, if you county should adopt a license similar to this, which is something we have seen happen in other states and municipalities, you will either have to get the county license or statewide mechanical license to design, service, install or maintain any hearth appliance, chimney or vent.

  • Licensing Requirements.  In order to obtain the statewide license you must:

    • Pass one of the following standardized mechanical assessment tests:

      • International Code Council

      • Prometric

      • International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials

    • Have 7500 hours of verifiable field experience or  a bachelor's or further advanced degree in mechanical or civil engineering with 3 years of supervising experience.

    • Have proof of liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000

  • The statewide license supersedes any county requirements.  This is useful in the case where you have several smaller municipalities close together that have different requirements.  You can now acquire the statewide license and those counties will have to recognize the state license over the county licenses/requirements.

MWHPBA's Position

MWHPBA understands the value of the Missouri Statewide Mechanical Licensing bill for many other applications, however we feel it is overkill for our very focused trade. We will continue our efforts to have hearth and barbecue appliances, chimneys and vents stricken from the bill, or create a limited specialty sub-license program for our products within the mechanical bill similar to other states and counties throughout the US.

 

Fireplaces, hearth products, and systems are unique products that bring fire into the living area of the home. Appropriate and effective credentials should be specific to our products. Competence cannot be reliably predicted by general qualifications that include dissimilar products and that do not adequately cover knowledge of fireplace products installation. Exclusion of demonstrably appropriate fireplace-specific qualifications unfairly prevents highly-qualified professionals from practicing their trade, earning a livelihood, and contributing to the economic welfare of the state of Missouri.

What You Can Do To Help

Complete Bill
 
Click the below links to read the full bill text:
Senate Bill 559 -
Senate Committee Subsitute
House Bill 1891
Bill Sponsors
 
Senate Bill 559 Sponsor:

Senator Dave Schatz

President Pro Tem – Republican
District 26 – Franklin and West St. Louis County

P: (573) 751-3678

House Bill 1891 Sponsor:

Representative Nick Schroer

Republican
District 107 - O'Fallon

P: (573) 751-1470 

MO Mechanical License Committee
 
Bill Bathe
Forshaw of St. Louis
MWHPBA President
St. Louis, MO
 
Ken Bennett
C. Bennett Building Supply
O'Fallon, MO
Mitch Dobsch
C. Bennett Building Supply
O'Fallon, MO
Nathan Forshaw
Forshaw of St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Rick Forshaw
Forshaw of St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Jim Gossrau
C. Bennett Building Supply
O'Fallon, MO
Dan Hechler
Hechlers Hearth & Home
Troy, MO
Victor Imgarten
Clean Sweep Chimney Service
St. Louis, MO
Omie Johnson
Advanced Chimney Techniques
Jamestown, MO
Joan Nutting
Maschino's, Inc
Springfield, MO

Attend a Public Hearing

Members will be encouraged to attend Public Committee Hearings in support of the newly amended SB 559.  There is generally only a few days notice on when these hearings will be held, so it will be important to check your email and our MWHPBA Facebook page regularly.  To ensure you are on our e-mail list, please contact egeil@midwesthpba.org.

 

Contact Your Senator and Representative

Contact your State Senator and Representative through our legislative action center.  Call your Senator and urge them to support SB 559.  A script is available for you to use or you can personalize it with your own message.

Timeline

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