A Missouri Senator and a utility contractor have proposed legislation that would create a licensing process for electrical contractors through the Missouri Division of Professional Registration.
According to a report from the Springfield News-Leader yesterday, the bill was heard in Senate committee on Monday.
Licensees would have to be U.S. citizens 21 or older with liability insurance and the ability to pass a nationally accredited test. The practical hours required would range from 4,000 (two years of full-time work) to 12,000 (six years) depending on the applicant's level of education.
The News-Leader reported that Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, questioned whether six years was not an inordinate amount of time. In response, Sheila Sperla with the Independent Electrical Contractors said the time requirements were modeled after rules in St. Louis County and were similar to those in Springfield.
Currently, municipalities are allowed but not required to issue local licenses for electricians. Under Sen. Dave Schatz's (R-Sullivan) bill, cities and counties could still issue their own local certification for electrical contractors, but they would be required to recognize a state license under the bill.
Any electrician working in a city or county that does not require a local license would not be required to get a state license, but electrical contracting companies would be required to employ at least one state-licensed electrician as a supervisor. Licensed electricians would be allowed to represent one firm at a time, the paper reported.
Several electrical contracting groups spoke in favor of the legislation, arguing that it will improve standardization and allow contractors who live in cities or counties without licensing to be certified to work in places that require certification.