MACo: Don’t Remove Local Electrical Licensing Authority

MACo Associate Director, Natasha Mehu, recently testified in opposition to legislation (HB 1368) that would remove all electrical licensing authority from local jurisdictions by 2020 and would establish a statewide licensing framework for master electricians. By doing this, journeymen and other local classes of electricians would effectively lose their local ability to perform services.

MACo’s testimony states,

While all but two counties (Allegany and Garrett) license master electricians, there are five counties (Calvert, Charles, Harford, Montgomery, and Prince George’s) that license journeyman electricians. There are also a number of other local licensed classes of electricians including general, limited or restricted, and apprenticeships. As the bill removes all licensing authority for local jurisdictions, journeymen and other local classes of electricians would effectively lose their local ability to perform services. The bill contains no comparable state license system or exemptions for these other classes of electricians. These electricians would now have to meet the more rigorous standards necessary to obtain a statewide master electricians license in order to continue to provide their limited level of services.

Furthermore, local electrical boards are best situated to oversee and discipline electricians working within their jurisdictions. Counties appreciate that the bill retains some ability for local boards to regulate electricians through a registration systems. However, for proper enforcement action it is important for counties to be able to restrict, suspend, or revoke a state license holder’s right to perform electrical services in that jurisdiction.

Brad Shipp from the Maryland Burglar & Firearm Association and Steve Thomas, from Montgomery County’s Division of Commercial Building Construction joined Ms. Mehu on a panel in opposition to this bill.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 legislative session here.