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PRESS RELEASE: AFP-OK Applauds Fallin’s Task Force on Occupational Licensing

In response to Governor Mary Fallin’s formation of a Occupational Licensing Task Force, Americans for Prosperity-Oklahoma state director, John Tidwell, had the following to say:

“While we need to be judicious in identifying potential licensing issues for reform, we also need to consider how removing barriers for Oklahoma workers could fundamentally strengthen our state’s economy through increased opportunity for tens of thousands of Oklahomans.

“We hope that the recommendations of this task force will be seen as a catalyst for an improved Oklahoma economy and a fresh opportunity for government to remove barriers for entrepreneurs without further stifling their ability to live the American Dream.”

BACKGROUND

According to a release by Governor Fallin’s office, the Oklahoma Occupational Licensing Task Force will provide recommendations to the governor on ways to remove “unnecessary or burdensome regulations that are a barrier to potential workers.”

It takes four times longer to become a hair braider than an EMT in Oklahoma due to occupational licensing requirements, according to this article in the Daily Signal.

According to a policy analysis on occupational licensing reform by the independent 1889 Institute:

  • Only 5 percent of the nation’s workforce was covered by licensing laws in 1950. Today, approximately 29 percent of the U.S. workforce is governed by licensing laws.
  • The Institute for Justice ranks Oklahoma as having the 11th most burdensome licensing laws among states.
  • Oklahoma licensed 91 job categories by 2007, more than 26 other states and more than its neighboring states except for New Mexico and Arkansas.
  • If Oklahoma reduced the percentage of its population that is licensed by 3.3 percentage points, Oklahomans’ purchasing power would rise by approximately $780 per capita due to the reduction in the cost of living.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact John Tidwell at JTidwell@afphq.orgor 844-AFP-OKLA