What are Regulations?

Regulations are the rules of doing business or activities within the state of Oklahoma. They are written by state agencies and are mandatory requirements that may apply to individuals, businesses, government entities, non-profits, or others. Regulations are meant to protect public health, welfare, safety, and provide legal clarity. However, over the years agencies may have made more rules than necessary.

How Red Tape Burdens Oklahoma

The governing code of regulations for Oklahoma is known as the Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC). The OAC is 16,430 pages long, has roughly 35,000 sections of rules, contains 145,296 restrictive phrases, and 9.3 million words. This would take an individual about 515 hours (or 13 weeks) to read. Individuals and businesses in the state of Oklahoma are currently forced to navigate through these layers upon layers of restrictions in order to remain in compliance with Oklahoma’s administrative rules.

This level of red tape and bureaucracy can impede economic growth by placing hurdles in front of individuals and businesses who are trying to start or expand businesses. By limiting the number of regulations, we will be able to provide the clarity and consistency that Oklahomans need in order to pursue their goals and exercise ingenuity.

The Administrative Code

Oklahoma Regulatory Comparison

Our Administrative Code has:

51% more regulatory phrases than Kansas
14% more regulatory phrases than New Mexico
22% more regulatory phrases than Missouri
Compared to surrounding states, Oklahoma is highly regulated. Oklahoma’s regulatory code has DOUBLE the amount of restricted phrases than Kansas.
(based upon research by Mercatus Research Center)
Biggest Regulators in Oklahoma
Department of Health: 17,407 restrictive phrases
Corporation Commission: 12,781 restrictive phrases
Department of Environmental Quality: 9,589 restrictive phrases
Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry: 6,216 restrictive phrases
Department of Mines: 5,087 restrictions
Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse: 4,732 restrictive phrases
Tax Commission: 4,716 restrictive phrases
Insurance Department: 4,570 restrictive phrases
Office of Management and Enterprise Services: 4,400 restrictive phrases
State Department of Education: 3,716 restrictive phrases

Source: State RegData for Oklahoma data, https://quantgov.org/state-regdata/

Most Regulated Industries in Oklahoma
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services: 6,980 restrictive phrases
Administrative and Support Services: 6,665 restrictive phrases
Paper Manufacturing: 5,056 restrictive phrases
Ambulatory Healthcare Services: 4,597 restrictive phrases
Mining (except for oil and gas): 4,217 restrictive phrases
Broadcasting (except internet): 3,855 restrictive phrases
Animal Production and Aquaculture: 2,914 restrictive phrases
Credit Intermediation and Related Services: 2,888 restrictive phrases
Educational Services: 2,680 restrictive phrases
Social Assistance: 2,224 restrictive phrases

Source: State RegData for Oklahoma, https://quantgov.org/state-regdata/

Note: Industries are classified using the RegData 3.0 industry classifier. Some previous state regulation snapshots published by the Mercatus Center used earlier versions of the RegData industry classifier.