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Senate approves delay in electrician licensing changes

The state Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would delay the date by which electricians and electrical contractors must have obtained licenses from the state if they want to keep working in Wisconsin.

Under current law, master, journeyman, beginning and apprentice electricians, as well as electrical contractors, have to be licensed or registered with the Department of Safety and Professional Services by April 1 if they are to continue to operate in the state past that date. The bill the Senate passed, 18-15, would delay that requirement by a year.

State Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, said the bill was meant to postpone changes that many in the construction industry considered onerous. He said pushing the date back by a year will give lawmakers more time to find an alternative to what the current law calls for.

As well as requiring licensing and registration with the state, the scheduled changes also would mandate that electricians and electrical contractors meet various requirements related to experience, training and performance on examinations.

The Wisconsin Assembly passed the bill, 59-39, on Feb. 28, and it now moves to Gov. Scott Walker’s desk.

– Dan Shaw

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