A bill in the Statehouse, HB399, would cut the amount of instruction hours needed to become a professional cosmetologist or barber in Ohio, once again reigniting the debate over licensing requirements.
Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) says her bill will help students seeking to go into the profession.
"Entering the beauty industry with less debt and greater ability to repay students loans," says Powell.
Under HB399, required instructional time would be reduced based on the license.
- Cosmetology License: 1,500 hours to 1,000 hours
- Barber License: 1,800 hours to 1,000 hours
- Hair Stylist License: 1,200 hours to 800 hours
Sue Carter Moore, president of the Ohio Association of Cosmetology Schools, says students are fighting against this legislation because they prefer the stiffer requirements arguing that it adds value to the license, allows for greater reciprocity in other states, and gives them the ability to start their own business without going through a salon first.
"When you have the hair melt off in your hand situations occur," Carter Moore explains, using hair coloring as an example. "You have to have the practice, you have to gain the experience, the knowledge of how it is to perform all these different kinds of services.
The bill is part of a larger effort by Republican lawmakers to reduce licensing and certification requirements for different professions.
Powell told the House State and Local Government Committee that she wants to pass laws that make Ohio more business friendly.
"One of the biggest steps we can take in that direction is to stop overregulating individuals in our state. It is time we move forward to make Ohio a more attractive place for individuals to live, work, play, and raise families in our communities," Powell says.
The bill has more than a dozen co-sponsors in the House. It has yet to be scheduled for a second hearing.