Oklahoma is serious about reforming its occupational licensing structure

The longtime ice jam of state occupational licensing continues to thaw and break. Oklahoma leaders are deep in discussions over reforms there, as Tulsa World reports:

Criminal justice reform was among 12 recommendations listed in a report released Tuesday by the state’s Occupational Licensing Task Force.

Gov. Mary Fallin in late 2016 announced the formation of the group to perform a comprehensive review of occupational licensing in Oklahoma. Chaired by state Labor Commissioner Melissa Houston, the Task Force was to offer suggestions to the governor on how to remove unnecessary or burdensome regulations that are a barrier to potential workers. …

The task force’s final report includes an introduction to the issue of occupational licensing, policy recommendations and licensing blueprint, an analytical tool policymakers can use to examine current and future licenses. The task force also collaborated with stakeholders to create a universal database of licensure in Oklahoma available for public use. The database can be found at licensing.ok.gov. …

“The task force has met continuously this past year to examine how Oklahoma can achieve a balance between maintaining free market principles, protecting public safety and reducing barriers to escape poverty. Policy recommendations in the report are practical first steps to improve Oklahoma’s licensing framework to better serve its citizens and serve as a model for the rest of the country.”

The task force report, which included model legislation, can be found here.

My report on modernizing North Carolina’s occupational licensing system includes a model Right to Earn a Living Act as well as Tennessee’s recently passed Right to Earn a Living law.

Jon Sanders / Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...