New law could affect cosmetology industry

New law could affect cosmetology industry

EAST TEXAS (KYTX) - A new law under consideration in the Texas House of representatives is upsetting East Texas hair stylists.

The proposed  law is not directed specifically at the cosmetology industry -- but it could affect it.

It's not directed at any industry, actually. This is a very short addition to existing work laws. 

It basically paves the way to remove some of the current regulation on state-licensed professionals.

The stylists inside Tyler's shear decadence hair salon have one thing in common. They're all licensed cosmetologists in the state of Texas.

 "And you have to upkeep that license every so many years," Michael Rischer said.

Salon owner Michael Rischer says the license has one basic purpose.

"To let people know that you know what you're doing," Rischer said.

That license was one of the things Anna Scott considered when she picked this salon.

"You go into some places and they're, you know, not that sanitary," Scott said.

Even with state licensing in place, she's had some bad experiences at other salons. And she's worried loosening the rules will make it worse.

"There's all kinds of regulations and diseases and things that people need to take precautions to prevent," Scott said.

"If someone doesn't know the proper way to wax someone and they re-use that stick over and over ... they're spreading all kinds of diseases," Rischer said.

House Bill 87 was written by Houston Republican Bill Callegari and says "an individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule."

That could include any kind of a professional license.

In the case of cosmetology -- established salons worry new upstarts cut corners.
But judges would have to determine that in future legal battles, so nothing's happening right away.

"It would slow us down in what we do, and not only slow us down. It would devalue our business," Rischer said.

Risher says it's a dangerous road to start down, whether it's inside Texas barber shops and salons or in a business he's never been in.

Scott says she's worried it will lower the bar for everyone.

" You want skilled workers so that way they have great wages so they go into professions to make money and provide for their families," Scott said.

On the topic of work and wages, the overall wording of the law seems to be an attempt at putting more people to work and making it easier for them to keep their jobs.

We called representative Callegari's office at the capital throughout the day today.
 They have not responded to our request for clarification on what this Bill is supposed to do and what it doesn't do.

There have to be a lot of different professional licenses in the state of Texas.

How else could people be affected?

Professional licensing really does touch every part of our lives. People who work with asbestos... Food handlers... Paramedics... Social workers.
     Right now there's well over 100 different professions that have to prove to the state that  they know what they're doing.



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