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Role of Occupational Licensing Commission Brews Conflict

Friday, September 10, 2021

Author: Jennie Melendez

Date: 09/09/2021

(eCap) Tensions rose during Thursday meeting of the Occupational Licensing Advisory Commission as some members disagreed about the scope of the commission's work.

"I'm a little confused. My understanding was our purpose was to look at licenses and to ascertain if they are still necessary," stated Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City.

Labor Commissioner Leslie Osborn began the meeting by recognizing that the occupations on the meeting's agenda marked the last of the industries to be reviewed to complete a four-year breakdown of all licensed occupations in the state.

Osborn shared they would begin the meeting by bringing back up the three speakers in attendance at the commission's August meeting who were tasked with bringing back additional information.

The State Board of Chiropractic Examiners appeared first after motions had been put on hold recommending that the board include more lay people and get rid of the all-inconclusive geographical requirement for their board members.

The representative speaking on behalf of the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners shared survey findings of other states' board make-ups but shared that the Oklahoma board had not had a meeting in the allotted time, so she did not have any local feedback.

Commission member and local businessman Michael Robins was behind the motions looking at changing the chiropractic examiner board.

Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore, shared his frustration over Robin's questioning of the various occupational boards, at one point suggesting they adjourn for the day. McBride also insinuated that Robins was wanting to make decisions that are for lawmakers to make.

"I feel like you want to be a legislator," stated McBride. Robins quipped back, "I'm a legislator of business."

"The tensions are higher in here than perhaps they should be," said Rep. Mike Osburn, R-Edmond.

Osburn shared that looking into the constructs of the various occupational boards was in line with the types of questions commission members could and should be asking.

Floyd said, "It's not the questions that are the problem. It's the recommendations we are making that concern me since the public hasn't weighed in."

At one point, Commissioner Osborn asked a member of her general counsel team if the commission was outside of their purview with questions about the boards. The attorney referenced state statute that seemed to indicate it was outside of the scope.

With more time and research needed to determine the answer, the motions were at the very least put on hold until a future meeting.

Osborn also pointed out that for consistency, the previously reviewed occupations from the current four-year cycle of license reviews did not receive scrutiny of their individual boards, so it was bad form to begin on this last grouping.

Osborn stated, "This would take us into new territory that is unexpected. We didn't discuss purview of board in previous 75 percent of boards."

A second remaining item from the August meeting that reached somewhat closer of a resolution came from the Council on Law Enforcement Training's (CLEET) Executive Director Brandon Clabes.

He returned to share with the commission that his agency plans on recommending through legislation a renewable certification process for peace officers. Clabes shared that up until his move to CLEET this year, his previous MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) certification took place in 1979 when joining the Midwest City Police Department.

"We have some that are in good standing with CLEET who are serving time in the state penitentiary," claimed Clabes.

Although the proposed legislation would address the apparent flaws with the one-time certification of peace officers, Clabes did not have a solution to share regarding who would cover the cost of additional tests.

"We support the MMPI every five years for police officers. I just don't have a solution for you on how we would regulate," said Clabes.

Thursday's meeting lasted for three hours with old business from August adding to the current month's agenda. The commission was able to make their way through the new occupations that were on the September agenda with little fanfare.

All reviewed occupational licenses were left as-is with no changes. The commission did vote on a motion to repeal the Subdivided Land Sales Agent license under the Oklahoma Securities Department, but the motion did not pass.

The four licenses underneath the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services were not heard, as no representee from the agency was in attendance.




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Last Modified on Mar 07, 2022
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