CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bill moving through the state legislature would require those working on heating and cooling systems in West Virginia to have a state license.
The bill, which passed the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday, is, according to its wording, “intended to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public as well as public and private property.”
Committee members gave several personal examples of work done on their heating and cooling systems that wasn’t up to par. Vice-Chairman Mark Hunt said someone tried to sell his mother a new furnace when all that was needed was an inexpensive switch. Hunt said he doesn’t believe the young worker was trying to pull one over on his mother, he just thinks he didn’t know what the real problem was.
“This bill provides that the people going out have a minimal level of training,” Hunt said.
Del. Barbara Fleischauer, D-Monongalia, said she’s lived in two homes over the years that were not properly ventilated. She said requiring a license would be a large help in a college town like Morgantown.
“There are children who are living in substandard rental units, people are making a whole lot of money off them in college towns and for those of us who have kids and those of us who don’t want brain damage, we really want to make sure the people performing this work have a decent amount of training,” Fleischauer said.
The bill would require heating and cooling system workers to have a state license on or after Jan. 1, 2016. They would have to carry the license on the job with them. Residents working on their own furnaces or air conditioners wouldn’t need a license. Also no license would be required to work on the system of a family member.
The bill includes fines for those who violate the article.
The measure now goes to the full House of Delegates for consideration.