State Representative Tim Ackert has another career when not serving in the General Assembly; he is a licensed electrician and owner of Ackert Electric, in Coventry. Having career experience as an electrician provides a different point of view in a legislature where a career in law is more common.
So let’s take a look at what our electrician is proposing this year. First he wants to amend the state laws to order “that the State Building Inspector and the Codes and Standards Committee shall update the State Building Code not later than January 1, 2014, to incorporate revisions to the National Electrical Code, as adopted by the National Fire Protection Association.” To cover future revisions Tim includes this in his proposal, “thereafter as deemed necessary, but in no event shall the State Building Code be updated more than twelve months after the date of first publication of subsequent revisions to the National Electrical Code.”
It would seem that keeping the State Building Code in compliance with national standards should be a matter of standard practice, unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be case here in Connecticut. No problem, Tim has his eye on it, with HB-6301, but what else is he doing?
Representative Ackert has also proposed HB-5611 calling for repealing the federal, state or municipal license exemption for certain trades. (Electrical licenses would be impacted by this) Under current law federal, state and municipal workers can perform work that is required to have a licensed professional in other situations.
In many cases the State requires that employees meet the requirement of the license professional to be considered for employment. This may not always hold true for non-state positions. In practice, municipalities often contract with licensed professionals for services allowing in house personal to perform less complex tasks and regular maintenance.
Tim has offered no examples of problems due to the present system and admits on the surface, “This may look self-serving”. In referring to the license requirements Ackert makes his case for changes with a series of questions. “If this is for safety reasons why is the town, state or federal government exempt? Are the individuals that use these facilities less deserving? Do we want children going to our schools where untrained maintenance workers are doing plumbing, electrical and heating work?”
How you view that proposal may reflect more about your own view of government, safety and trust than the content of HB-5611. According to Representative Ackert, “All of the work I do in Hartford is based on the ideas, thoughts and views I gather from the people I serve in the 8th district”.
This posting is the last in a six part series, “An Eye On Ackert”. The series is not a complete coverage of all bills proposed by Tim but is provided to give readers an idea of some activities going on in State government by their elected Representative.
Rep. Ackert has urged all of his constituents to contact him at his office for any questions or input on any issue saying, “If you have any questions or ideas you would like to share, please do not hesitate to contact me at my office.” You may reach Representative Akert via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-800-842-1423.