Oklahoma Code Update

Restructuring of building code entities comes under fire.

In February, I reported on House Bill 1168, which would place the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission (OUBCC) back under the administration of the Construction Industries Board (CIB).

Mike Means, Executive Director of the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association, pointed out that the two entities have different missions (OUBCC develops codes; CIB licenses and conducts training). He also noted that the restructuring would create a conflict of interest by putting the contractors who are required to follow state codes in charge of developing those codes.

In early March, HB 1168 passed the House by a vote of 18-1. In late March, HB 1168 was sent to the Senate and referred to the Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee.

The bill was proposed solely by Mark McBride, state representative and owner of McBride Custom Homes. While McBride’s legislative goal with HB 1168 was to reduce wasted tax dollars and “be a good steward of… state revenues,” Means stated that “both of those agencies are self-funded” through fees paid by either contractors or municipal code enforcement.

The bill calls for 11 members of the OUBCC. Five of those seats go to contractors, two seats go to building inspectors, and the remaining seats go to an architect, an insurance rep, the State Fire Marshall and an appointee of the CIB. The bill appears to eliminate OUBCC staff, to which the state HBA also disagreed.