The Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker has introduced legislation to re-organize the Department of Public Safety (DPS). This legislation will split up the DPS, moving crucial licensing and oversight bodies within the Department to other existing State Agencies. The Board of Boiler Rules and the State Steam Engineering Inspectors shall move under the jurisdiction of the Fire Marshal. The Bureau of Pipefitters, Refrigeration Technicians, and Sprinklerfitters would come under the purview of the Division of Professional Licensure. We believe these changes would be harmful to the inspectional and regulatory duties currently carried out by employees of the DPS and overseen by its Boards. This poses a potential danger to operators and the general public.
Furthermore the introduced legislation would allow for changes to be made more freely to the licensing portions of the law going forward, as limits would be placed on public comment and involvement. Less oversight would result in decreased competency among operators coming into our fields, which is a risk to public safety. Opening the door to changes in the licensing laid out in the statute could also diminish wages we have fought for at the bargaining table.
The Chapter 146 Association has drafted a letter on this subject that explains in more depth the detrimental elements of the proposed legislation. They are also petitioning the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight to vote NO on recommending the bill. A copy of their letter and petition can be found below.
We urge you to read their letter, and to join the Petition against the bill.
A public hearing on the legislation is being held on 02-22-2017 at 11:00AM at the Massachusetts State House, Room B1. We invite you to join us and make your voice heard on this issue.