On Wednesday, April 30, 2014, Rep. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) and Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) introduced HB 532 in the Ohio House of Representatives and the companion bill was also introduced in the Ohio Senate as SB 333 by Sen. Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander) and Sen. Shirley Smith (D-Cleveland). The legislation was developed with support from the Ohio Salon Association. The bill embraces the Kasich Administration’s “Common Sense Initiative” by seeking to reform state regulations so that they do not unnecessarily interfere with the ability to start a business, grow a business, or enter the workforce to pursue a profession. Some of the common sense provisions in our legislation include:
- Removes the only state mandate in the U.S. telling salon owners who can manage their business – Ohio is the only state in the nation that requires licensees, who have already taken up to 1500 hours of training for a basic license, to go through between 100 – 300 hours of additional training before being permitted to work alone in or “manage” a salon. This is clearly an unnecessary requirement that impedes a licensee’s ability to work alone in a salon and a salon owner’s ability to run a salon. The manager’s license provides no additional marketable skills outside of Ohio and serves as barrier for individuals outside the state wanting to work in Ohio salons. We must eliminate this burdensome mandate on Ohio’s small business job providers and new licensees.
- Replaces the existing manager license with an advanced license – The advanced license would not be mandatory to provide services in Ohio; however, replacing the manager license rubric with an advanced licensure program preserves existing licensees’ investment in a higher level of licensure, while providing an opportunity for educators to partner with the business community to develop a meaningful advanced licensure for future graduates. This partnership would help develop a program that provides value to salon owners and increases the marketability of the students who complete such programs.
- Finds efficiencies and reduces duplication in state government – There are several similarities and duplication in the oversight and services provided by the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology and the Barber Board regulating beauty services in Ohio. This provision would create of the Commission on Efficient Regulation of Beauty Services to find ways to reduce such duplication in state government between both boards. By way of comparison, these boards are combined in over half the states today.
- Improves quality and improves consumer driven inspections by: a) Provide an 800 number and e-mail method to facilitate consumer reporting and for the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology to investigate complaints – There is currently no easy way for consumers to report violations of safety or sanitary practices. This provision will create a user friendly method by which consumers can report their concerns from around the state; and b) Conduct biennial and complaint driven inspections – Currently the Board of Cosmetology inspects salons approximately once every 12-18 months. The inspection practices of the Board should be primarily in response to complaints filed by consumers. In addition, as a matter of course every salon should be inspected at least every two years. This allows the time and energy of inspectors to be focused on true threats to the safe and sanitary delivery of services, rather than technical violations.
- Reduces human trafficking in Ohio – There are provisions in the bill that support our initiative to identify and eliminate human trafficking in Ohio by requiring continuing education on the topic, supplying information on human trafficking to all licensed facilities in Ohio and implementing additional requirements to ensure beauty industry professionals are lawfully in Ohio as well as the U.S.
- Increases transparency by improving the existing Annual Report from the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology – Currently, the Board of Cosmetology only tracks and reports on aggregate information regarding salons, schools of cosmetology and licensees while other states provide much more detail to the public. This provision would require the Board to track and develop a more comprehensive report that provides the public, Governor and members in the House and Senate factual information regarding Board operations, salons, licensees and both public and private schools throughout Ohio. The report would provide information annually for all licensees who apply, enroll, and graduate from public and private schools of cosmetology as well as loan default rates for such institutions; the number of new and renewal licenses in each profession; number of complaint driven inspections; number and type of violations; and adjudications. This additional information will help the Board better understand trends and identify areas needing attention, lawmakers stay informed of Board operations, and the public make informed decisions when choosing a school or a salon.
- Permits public school cosmetology students to be more job ready after graduation – Currently, public school students who have earned licensure in a branch of cosmetology prior to graduation, are not permitted to continue to practice in their school clinic up to graduation. This bill corrects the provision in state law today that prevents apublic school student, who has earned licensure in a branch of cosmetology to continue practicing in their school clinic until graduation in order to be better prepared for the job market. This allowance would terminate upon the graduation of the student from the public school.
- Makes existing continuing education requirements meaningful – All licensees under the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology are required to obtain 8 hours of continuing education in a 24-month period. This bill establishes categories of educational competencies within those 8 hours to ensure that safety and sanitation, law and rule updates as well as training to identify and addressing the crime of human trafficking are at the forefront of this education.
- Requires registration instead of licensure for boutique services – On the spectrum of policy mechanisms designed to avoid harm to consumers from unfit practitioners, licensing is the bluntest and most restrictive, for both entrepreneurs and consumers. This provision is a much less restrictive approach to boutique services by requiring registration for individuals practicing braiding, threading, eye lash extensions and other boutique services as identified by the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology. This would provide the least restrictive regulatory means for a service provider as well as ensuring the state’s desire to protect Ohioans receiving such services. In addition, the registration and minimum training requirements as opposed to the state government imposing burdensome licensure and formal education requirements should protect the state from litigious special interest groups fighting to reduce regulatory burdens in other states.
Contact the Ohio Salon Association Executive Director, Elizabeth Murch, if you would like to become engaged in support for HB 532 and SB 333!