TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND REGULATION
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND REGULATION. The Bureau of Labor Statistics was established in 1909 to collect statistical information bearing on the commercial, social, educational, and sanitary conditions of Texas employees and their families. It added to its statistical function administration and enforcement of industrial issues affecting the welfare of employers and the general public as well as employees. Later administration of laws concerning boxing and wrestling was added. In 1956 the bureau had six divisions: Labor, Employment and Local Agency, Oil and Gas, Boxing and Wrestling, Boiler Inspection, and Accounting. It had fifty-seven employees, sixteen of whom were part-time, and was headed by a commissioner appointed by the governor for a two-year term. By 1964 the Oil and Gas Division no longer existed, but a Safety Division had been added. Functions of the bureau were to enforce laws pertaining to health, safety, and morals, child labor, pay times, hours worked, the prevailing wage, and other laws in the various divisions. In 1973 the name was changed to the Texas Department of Labor and Standards. An Administrative Division took the place of the Accounting Division, the Labor and Safety divisions were combined, and Mobile Homes and Auctioneer divisions were added. Twenty investigative field offices were also added. In 1989 changes were made in the agency's functions and structure. A six-member commission, appointed by the governor to six-year overlapping terms and confirmed by the Senate, began to act as the governing body, and the name was changed to Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. The remaining labor functions were transferred to the Texas Employment Commission, and the agency was made an umbrella regulatory agency to oversee a variety of businesses, trades, and occupations. Besides auctioneers, manufactured housing, and professional boxing, it began to regulate tow trucks, vehicle storage facilities, industrialized housing and buildings, and boilers, including those used in nuclear plants. Air conditioning contractors, private personnel agencies, career counseling, and talent agencies were also under the agency's regulation. Registration of property tax consultants and employers of certain temporary common laborers and supervision of the elimination of architectural barriers to handicapped persons were added in 1991. In 1990 appropriations were $5,781,925, in 1991 $5,185,478, in 1992 $5,432,418 and in 1993 $5,437,328. The agency had 180 employees during this period.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Fifty Years for Texas: 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Department of Public Safety (Austin: Texas Department of Public Safety, 1985). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.