FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 30, 2017

Occupational Licensing Task Force Members Announced

OKLAHOMA CITY- The 10 members of the Occupational Licensing Task Force are being announced today.

Members include:

  • Attorney General Scott Pruitt, or designee
  • Senator David Holt, Oklahoma Senate
  • Senator Adam Pugh, Oklahoma Senate
  • Representative Mark McBride, Oklahoma House of Representatives
  • Representative Mike Osburn, Oklahoma House of Representatives
  • Joe M. Allbaugh, Director of Department of Corrections and Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force member
  • Fred Morgan, President of Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce
  • Renee Porter, President of Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School
  • Natalie Shirley, OSU-Oklahoma City President and Oklahoma Secretary of Education and Workforce Development
  • John Tidwell, State Director, Americans for Prosperity

“Occupational licensing is an issue critical to our state economy and to the protection of the health and safety of the public,” said Labor Commissioner Melissa McLawhorn Houston, Chairperson of the Task Force. “I appreciate the willingness of the Task Force to participate in this important evaluation of occupational licensing in Oklahoma. Together, we will ensure the safety of the public remains intact while examining whether burdensome regulations are hindering the free market and keeping Oklahomans from escaping poverty.”

“As a farmer and small business owner, I know the frustration of having to comply with government rules not based on logic or common sense. To help grow our economy and help more people provide for their family through hard work and ingenuity, we must make sure our occupational licensing framework isn’t an obstacle to more people starting a business and achieving the American Dream. Senator David Holt and Senator Adam Pugh are hardworking, talented senators who will use their appointment to this task force to work toward an improved Oklahoma economy,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz, R-Altus.

“I commend Governor Fallin for this effort, and I am pleased to appoint Rep. McBride and Rep. Osburn to serve the state on this task force,” said House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka. “House Republicans have already begun discussing how we can address these excessive licensing requirements during the upcoming legislative session, so we are excited to know that our governor shares our concerns. Burdensome and excessive regulations cost businesses and consumers millions each year and many serve as nothing more than protectionist schemes that make it expensive and difficult for new businesses to enter the marketplace. These are the types of efforts that will help our small businesses flourish and make Oklahomans more prosperous.”

The Oklahoma Department of Labor will provide personnel and support for the Task Force and will examine issues outlined in Executive Order 2016-39.

The Oklahoma Department of Labor is tasked to help ensure fairness, equity and safety in Oklahoma workplaces through ethical behavior, conscientious guidance and loyal service to Oklahoma’s employers and employees. Additionally, the department provides oversight and regulation for key industries ensuring the protection of the public. Visit www.ok.gov/odol for more information.

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