Occupational Licensing

Gov. Mary Fallin issued an executive order this afternoon establishing the Oklahoma Department of Labor as the “central coordinating entity” for occupational licensing in the state.

Fallin’s executive order comes less than one month after a task force led by Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Melissa Houston issued an 85-page report about occupational licensing that recommended centralized jurisdiction under one agency.

“I commend the task force members led by Labor Commissioner Melissa Houston for their diligent efforts and report, which outlined these efficiency recommendations,” Fallin said in a press release. “This central listing of state occupational licenses will provide a clear picture of how many licenses are offered and what the requirements are to receive one.

“This will help in determining whether the government by issuing certain licenses should be giving permission for people to work and earn a living. The state database will increase state licensing transparency and help remove unnecessary or burdensome regulations that are a barrier to potential workers.”

Fallin’s executive order reads as follows:

The Occupational Licensing Database created by the Task Force shall continue to provide a centralized point of information regarding occupational licenses in the State of Oklahoma, including but not limited to: types of licenses, number of licenses, fees associated with obtaining a licenses, training and renewal requirements for a licenses and links to licensing websites.

I further direct all agencies, boards and commissions to:

A Identify all occupational licenses administered by your agency and all the requirements necessary to obtain the license;

B Identify the schedule of fees for obtaining licenses administered by your agency, including fees to renew the license;

C Identify and provide links to all necessary forms and other administrative requirements to obtain a license; and

D Report all information to the Oklahoma Department of Labor by March 31, 2018

The Oklahoma Department of Labor shall become the central coordinating entity for the reporting of occupational licensing information from all state agencies, boards and commissions.

The Chief Information Officer (CIO) within the Office of Management and Enterprise Services shall provide technological support to the Oklahoma Department of Labor for the Occupational Licensing database. The Occupational Licensing database shall be made available and accessible to the public on the internet.

The Oklahoma Department of Labor and the Chief Information Officer at the Office of Management and Enterprise Services will execute an agreement for the administration and support for the licensing database.

The final approval of any new agency rule changes or fee changes by this office shall be contingent on the agency complying with this executive order.

The cabinet secretaries shall assure enforcement of this executive order and fully cooperate with the CIO to enforce compliance with this executive order.

Houston is not running to be labor commissioner in 2018. Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang) and Cathy Costello are the announced candidates. Each is a Republican.