Thursday, January 19, 2012

HB1006 - Proposed Elimination of Certain Professional Licenses and Inspections

Its one thing to let Aunt Hilda put a bowl on your head and proceed to give you a hair cut.  Its quite another to trust her with a chemical peel.

And, if you can't trust Aunt Hilda, why would you trust a perfect stranger?  Well, for now at least, the State of Indiana requires appropriate training and professional conduct to gain and retain a cosmetology license.  The professionalism of the Indiana State Board of Cosmetology and the rules they promulgate to protect public safety may not be perfect, but it is far better than just taking your chances in Indiana.

There are those in the Statehouse that would prefer you take your chances.  They would prefer to give the impression that regulation and licensing of cosmetologists is just expensive assurance that you won't get an unflattering haircut.

Truth is, the Board of Cosmetology regulates the proper sanitation of instruments, appropriate training on the use of harsh and dangerous chemicals, the requirements for maintenance of safe equipment such as tanning beds and electrolysis needles and units, among other public safety and consumer protection issues.  Up front proper training at beauty colleges and ongoing inspections of salons and shops are essential elements for consumer protection, not from bad hair days, but from serious infection or injury.

Truth is, too, that the licensing fees collected for Cosmetologists bring in more revenue than it costs to inspect salons and beauty colleges.  According the fiscal impact analysis of HB1006 by the Indiana Legislative Services Agency, the state takes in $983,646 in Cosmetology license fees but spends $203,044 to administer the licenses, including conducting the inspections. 

HB1006 is authored by Representative David Wolkins. Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana reports that Rep. Wolkins has a pro-consumer voting record on legislation that group follows, of 25% over the last four years - with a high of 50% in 2010 and a low of 0% in 2011.   They say of their ratings in general, " We consider that 80% is a passing grade for the legislators, meaning that if their "Pro-Consumer Voting Percentage" is 80% or above, they are working to protect consumers in the State House. If their percentage is below 80%, they are not working to protect consumers."

HB1006 also seeks to deregulate professional licensing and minimal requirements for dietitians, hearing aid dealers, private investigators and security guards.

Some may be content to put their personal consumer safety in the hands of Aunt Hilda and Rep. Wolkins.  I, for one, am not.


Nicolas Martin said...

Occupational licensing costs consumers billions in higher prices, and yields no demonstrable benefits. It is pushed by members of the occupations, who want to establish cartels by gaining control over the regulatory agencies and the schools. Licensing is highly anti-consumer.

Hoosiers for Indiana said...

The medical profession is licensed. Engineering fields are licensed as well.

Do you really want to move into a house whose plumbing wasn't done by a licensed plumber? You can't see the pipes in the wall.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Nicholas on this one.

Anonymous said...

Nicolas, some aspects of Prof. Licensing is a racket and has not public welfare in mind.
This however, is not one of them.

It may surpise you, but a licensed hair dresser is NOT licensed to do quality work. They are licensed to protect you from harm.
A bad haircut is the LEAST of your worries in an unregulated industry.

House Bill 1006, among other things, deregulates hair and beauty industry. Cosmetologists and Barbers will no longer have inspections, guidelines or health and safety standards.

Disease and injury are very real risks when visiting an unlicensed hairdresser or barber.

Risks include: scalp burns, broken hair, burns from hot tools, injury from sharp scissors or razors, permanent hair loss, flawed facial waxing...and Many more

Disgusting head lice, ringworm, scabies and other communicable diseases will be common place.

Anonymous said...

Off topic - HYE do you have any details or facts about the state takeover of DMS?

Had Enough Indy? said...

Consumer protection is a reasonable role for government. The licensing of cosmetology professionals is one good example of how government can approach that protection.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 8:56 - a letter went out to parents in the community. I am trying to verify the claims in that letter before posting. Wolf has been cried before.

DJ Shiva. said...

In the interests of accuracy, the Citizens Action Coalition's voting records refer to legislator's votes on issues that we specifically work on.

It wouldn't be applicable to use our assessments on issues not specific to the ones we represent.

Just wanted to clarify that. :)

Lisa Smith
IT Manager @ CAC

Had Enough Indy? said...

Thanks Lisa, I did mention it was based on the legislation CAC follows. But, thanks for being even more clear.

Anonymous said...

Republicans hate the people.
They want to abandon us to:
contagious diseases, alergic reactions, and chemical burns.
They also want to reduce income for the state that will have to be made up with higher taxes and they want to eliminate a sector of our economy (beauty colleges). This bill just shows their contempt for us. It's the role of government to protect us. What will they do next? Eliminate the police and fire departments? I think that we are getting a glimpse of the contempt Republicans feel for the 99%. And this legislation is really backed by immigrants who
can't attend beauty colleges because they can't read English.
We have the figures. Licensing costs cosmetologists less than$1,000,000 in Indiana. Not billions. And it protects us from diseases, allergic reactions, and chemical burns. And hundreds of beauty colleges across the state employee thousands of people that the Republicans want on unemployment instead.
So, with this initiative, heartless Republicans are promoting: unemployment, higher taxes, illegal immigration, diseases, chemical burns, and an increased burden on our healthcare system. Would the moron who is sponsoring this legislation for his asian "friends" be personally liable for the pain and suffering caused by negligent poorly trained foreigners melting people's faces off? Would the state? Just look at the pictures on the internet and imagine if that was you or a loved one. Perhaps this bill wasn't sponsored by people who hate us. Perhaps it's just sponsored by dangerously ignorant people.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 5:37 - I think it goes too far to blame republicans. I haven't seen any polling numbers, but I can't imagine that supporters of cosmetology licensing are all democrats.

I know I haven't turned every stone on this issue, but immigrants haven't merited a swipe, either.


a body piercer in IN said...

This is unfortunate. In the county I live, tattooing and piercing is completely unregulated and unlicensed. The board of health openly admits they only inspect if there are complaints. I've been fighting for 2 years to get some kind of regulation in our area. To hear that Indiana is actually taking a step back makes me less hopeful that there will be improved safety.