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Ohio Update: House Bill 189 and Senate Bill 129

The Ohio General Assembly has introduced companion bills to reform Ohio’s cosmetology laws comprehensively. The House bill is HB 189 and the Senate bill is SB 129. Both pick up from changes enacted in SB 213 from the 131st General Assembly.

“Our bill seeks to make Ohio’s cosmetology laws the national model,” says Charles Penzone, chairman of Charles Penzone Day Spas in Columbus, Ohio, and a member of the State Board of Cosmetology.

This bill seeks to 1. focus on cosmetology student success in entering the beauty industry with less debt and greater ability to repay student loans; 2. facilitate a continuous workforce development pipeline for salons; 3. reduce unnecessary regulations placed on members of the cosmetology industry, and make it easier for Ohioans from small business owners to aspiring cosmetologists to begin or expand businesses by removing significant barriers to success.

It is written to accomplish these goals:

  1. License mobility/reciprocity. Ohio is open for business. The license reciprocity language creates license mobility and facilitates movement between states for a more mobile workforce. It strives to minimize the tendency of stylists to drop out of the industry or go underground due to a lengthy license transfer process, and enables multi-state employers to relocate employees, increasing their career opportunities.
  2. Lowers Ohio state-mandated licensure hour requirements for cosmetology licensure hours from 1,500 to 1,000; reduces hair designer licensure hours from 1,200 to 600; reduces esthetician licensure hours from 600 to 300; and reduces manicurist licensure hours from 200 to 100. Independent research and successful models in New York and Massachusetts show there is no justification for more than 1,000 hours of education for cosmetology licensure.
  3. Allows on-demand scheduling and working outside a salon. Several beauty industry licensees need to provide on-site cosmetology services for weddings, films and special occasions around the state outside of a brick-and-mortar salon. This legislation enables such services to be performed on site, with reasonable requirements for licensees to ensure public safety.
  4. Creates a cosmetology apprentice process for licensure. The apprenticeship program in the bill is modeled after states like Wisconsin, Tennessee and Alabama. These programs provide salon owners the opportunity become providers and future cosmetologists the ability to work and earn a wage while advancing toward licensure. Apprenticeship, as well, will help negate the projected loss of private/for-profit schools due to the Gainful Employment Act.
  5. Sets schools of cosmetology up for success and consistency across state lines. One area focuses on requiring pre-graduate testing for public and private school students. It not only gives students the opportunity to get remedial training if they fail, but allows graduates to be licensed immediately upon graduation, moving into the workforce sooner to earn wages, pay taxes and begin repaying loans. In addition, the bill authorizes distance learning to provide maximum flexibility for students to learn when and where convenient and lowers the cost for schools’ traditional on-site, brick-and-mortar classrooms.
  6. State Board Recommendations and Safety Rules. The bill addresses issues raised by the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology staff and makes Ohio law consistent with safety and infection control rules and regulations with known causes of infection or health threats to the public.

This bill is supported by the Ohio Salon Association, the only business trade association in Ohio representing the interests of small business job providers and salon owners across the state, and the Future of the Beauty Industry Coalition, a national coalition of cosmetologists, students, salon owners, manufacturers, publishers, distributors and cosmetology schools.

Stay informed on new developments by connecting with the Ohio Salon Association (Twitter @OhioSalonAssoc, Facebook @OhioSalonAssociation) and FBIC (Twitter @thefuturebeauty, Facebook @FutureBeautyCoalition) on social media. Contact Tony Fiore, the Ohio Salon Association’s legislative counsel, at afiore@keglerbrown.com.

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Jayne Morehouse

Jayne Morehouse

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