H 59° L 32°
  • cloudy-day
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 59° L 32°
  • clear-day
    Sunny. H 59° L 32°
  • clear-night
    Clear. H 59° L 32°

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00


Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00


Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

State works to sort out chaotic licensing system

State works to sort out chaotic licensing system

State works to sort out chaotic licensing system

State works to sort out chaotic licensing system

To even call Oklahoma’s process for obtaining a license to practice a trade or occupation a system might be something of a stretch, although Labor Commissioner Melissa Houston is working to correct the problem.

Currently, she told KRMG, the situation is fairly chaotic.

“There’s no place you can go to find out how many licenses we have, how expensive they are, how many training hours - I mean it’s kind of crazy,” Houston said. “We have 300 agencies, boards and commissions, and each one issues a number of different licenses.”

About a year ago, Gov. Mary Fallin formed a task force to study the issue, and last week the group issued twelve recommendations.

But Houston has already taken action, helping create a website that acts as a sort of informational clearing house on licensing in Oklahom

Meanwhile, the problem is a concern nationwide.

“This is a big issue at the national level,” Houston told KRMG. “The Trump administration is looking into what they can do at a national level to address it, but interestingly so did the Obama administration. And I can tell you from 25 years in public policy, when you have both the right and the left saying ‘hey, this is a problem,’ that is an area that is ripe for reform.”

She said according to the research they did at the Oklahoma Deparment of Labor, government oversight of occupational licensing grew rapidly in the second half of the 20th Century.

“In the 1950s, one in fifty occupations required a license. Today, it is one in three,” Houston said.

And she doesn’t think that’s necessary, much less beneficial.

“Is this an appropriate use of the government? Is this an appropriate are for the government to be in? Again, if you’re interfering with somebody’s ability to earn a living, then there needs to be a governmental interest.”

And there are only four areas, according to the task force’s findings, where the governmental interest exists.

Houston enumerated those areas: “When the public health is concerned, the public safety, there’s a fiduciary duty, or there is some sort of fundamental right that is impacted. Other than that, it really shouldn’t be a license. And there are lots of different ways to get there that aren’t a license. So, that’s really what we started analyzing and making some recommendations on.”

The database of licenses is a start, she said, although the ODL is still waiting from many of the agencies for the requested information.

The second tool, she said, is dubbed “the blueprint.”

“It is a way to get everyone on the same page, asking the same questions about licenses. And it is a model for the rest of the country. I’ve had several national groups that have reached out to me asking for it and looking to replicate it, because again it’s an issue across the country - not just in Oklahoma.”

The blueprint, she says, drills down on three basic questions:

  • What is the governmental interest?
  • Is there a less restrictive means?
  • Who is regulating the licenses?

The goal now is to get the legislature to move on the task force’s recommendations.

Read More

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • The recent rain in Tulsa County has done more than just saturate the area. Drivers in Tulsa tell us they've noticed a lot more potholes pop up. “You almost have to dodge them a lot of times, which puts you in a lot of trouble getting in the way of other traffic,” one driver said.   Police in Broken Arrow report the same thing has happened along Lynn Lane. One resident states the problem has always been there, but now it's even worse. “It’s just really bad because of the rain,” that resident said.   She adds the new potholes have made her family’s daily drive a little more difficult. Let us know where the worst potholes can be found in Tulsa County.  
  • The ground will be a bit soggy, but today should be perfect for outdoor activities. National Weather Service says the recent rain will move out of the Tulsa area. “Sunday will be mostly sunny with highs in the lower 60”s,” NWS said.   Conditions will remain dry Sunday night.  NWS is reporting mostly clear skies and a low around 30 degrees.   There is some good news weather wise for the upcoming work week.  The Tulsa area should see highs in the 60’s through Thursday.  
  • Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee on Saturday released their redacted response to a Republican memo on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, as Democrats charged that the GOP omitted numerous details about the FBI’s probe during the campaign for the White House. “FBI and DOJ officials did not “abuse” the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign,” the Democratic memo states. “The FBI supplied information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that Russia might be colluding with Trump campaign associates,” Democrats said in a press statement announcing the release of the memo, which had been held back earlier this month after the White House raised questions about details included in the ten page memo. “Some time ago, Republicans on our committee released a declassified memo that omitted and distorted key facts in order to mislead the public and impugn the integrity of the FBI,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence panel. “We can now tell you what they left out,” Schiff added. BREAKING: Congress releases redacted Democratic memo pushing back on GOP claims of surveillance abuses in FBI's Russia probe. — AP Politics (@AP_Politics) February 24, 2018 Democrats said their rebuttal “should put to rest any concerns that the American people might have as to the conduct of the FBI, the Justice Department and the FISC,” as they said the evidence “failed to uncover any evidence of illegal, unethical, or unprofessional behavior by law enforcement.” Democrats not only countered that, but raised questions about the testimony of one-time Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, who was the focus of the original Republican memo, as the GOP raised questions about how surveillance had been approved of Page. Democrats said the answer was not the information supplied by ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. Some portions of the document on those points were blacked out, or redacted. You can read the full Democratic memo at this link. Democrats also released a fact sheet to go with the memo.
  • Local districts have been dealing with a lot of school threats recently. In fact, at least four children have been arrested. Tulsa County Assistant District Attorney Erik Grayless has a warning for anyone thinking about making a threat of their own. “If you threaten a school, we will prosecute you,” Grayless said.   The district attorney's office is so serious about these threats that Grayless was willing to get even more specific. “You cannot post pictures of firearms on Instagram and reference your school,” Grayless said.  “That’s a threat.  The threat itself, regardless of your intentions, is a crime.” KRMG's told that alone could lead to a misdemeanor charge and six months of jail time.
  • If you have outdoor plans for today be prepared to get wet. National Weather Service Meteorologist David Jankowski says more rain is likely for the Tulsa area. “Showers are expected to increase and becoming an 80 percent chance by the mid-morning hours,” Jankowski said.  “It looks like the rainfall forecast across the area for Saturday will be less than a half of an inch.” For reference, Tulsa saw 1.59 inches during the day on Friday.   The high for today will be around 58 degrees. Sunday will be a lot better for outdoor activities.  NWS is reporting sunny skies and a high close to 64 degrees.