Consolidation of building boards

State Rep. Mark McBride filed a measure that would fold a state building code commission into the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board.

House Bill 1168 would place the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission (UBCC) under the Construction Industries Board (CIB), where it originally was placed in 2009, and would eliminate its staff, which McBride said is unnecessary and redundant. The bill would also cut the UBCC fees it collects by at least 25 percent.

The UBCC was created to provide statewide minimum building codes, which it adopts every three to four years, said McBride.

McBride said the organization had a budget of $200,000 in 2009, but recently had a budget of $950,000. Today, the UBCC has five employees and a lobbyist.

“I was elected because my constituents are tired of seeing their tax dollars wasted, and I promised to be a good steward of those state revenues,” said McBride, R-Moore. “There is absolutely no reason the functions of the UBCC cannot be assumed by the CIB, and there is certainly no reason this small commission needs a lobbyist, other than to get more taxpayer dollars. This is the way it is with government: the Legislature creates some obscure commission or board, and the next thing you know they have a dozen employees and an annual budget of $5 million. It’s crazy, and frankly, Oklahomans are sick of it.”

McBride, whose family has been in the homebuilding business since 1972, said the bill has nothing to do with homebuilders. He said the bill is about being good stewards of limited taxpayer dollars.

“When we take a dollar from a family, that is a dollar that family doesn’t have for groceries or to pay their electric bill,” said McBride. “We have to start remembering that when we create new boards or agencies, or when we pass laws that cost Oklahomans more money.”

McBride was recently appointed to the Governor’s Occupational Licensing Task Force, which “will provide recommendations to the governor to remove unnecessary or burdensome regulations that are a barrier to potential workers,” according to a news release issued by the Governor’s Office.