New Law Protects Professional Licenses

Oklahoma City – Members of the House Democratic Caucus applauded the passage of House Bill 1956, which Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law last week.

The new law allows Oklahomans to renew their occupational licenses with the state despite their tax status.

Co-author Representative Melissa Provenzano, D-Tulsa said this law delivers real help to the working professionals in her district and throughout Oklahoma.

“To the nurse in my district who was denied renewal of her license because she wasn’t quite done paying off her back taxes, and who reached out for help-thank you for everything you do, and help is here,” she said.

Co-author Rep. Jared Deck, D-Norman, said it’s important to keep skilled laborers in the workplace:

“With the current deficit of skilled workers in Oklahoma, removing barriers to work and paying off debt is a no-brainer. I’m proud to be part of legislation that helps working families get on their feet.”

Current law requires state licensing entities to deny renewal applications of those who owe back taxes.

Co-author Rep. Annie Menz, D-Norman said it’s important that legislators find ways to protect working people.

“I was thrilled to be able to coauthor this important legislation and I’m grateful that the Governor signed it. I will always stand up for working people and any effort to improve the quality of life for Oklahoma families,” Menz said in a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK.com.

Rep. Ellyn Hefner, D-Oklahoma City (another co-author), is a leading advocate for Oklahomans with intellectual disabilities and said this legislation would positively impact families who rely on state-licensed therapists.

“Families who rely on specialized therapists for their children will have a continuation of services with the passing of H.B. 1956 into law. I’m proud and honored to be a part of legislation that helps take the weight off families who have a child with a disability,” Rep. Hefner said.

The legislation goes into effect on November 1, 2023.

NOTE: CapitolBeatOK.com, founded in 2009, is an independent, non-partisan and locally-managed news service based in Oklahoma City.