Buckeye Institute celebrates legislative win for cosmetologists

May 24, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Cosmetologists aspiring to become store managers will have a clearer career path in Ohio, should a newly approved piece of legislation be signed into law by Gov. Kasich. Ohio's free-market think tank, The Buckeye Institute, applauded the General Assembly's move.

Today, the Ohio Senate concurred with minor House changes to Senate Bill 213, sponsored by Sen. Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander), ending Ohio's requirement that cosmetologists get a special state license to be promoted to store manager. The bill, which will now go to Gov. Kasich's desk, cleared the House last week 96-0 after initially passing the Senate 32-0.

"More Ohio cosmetologists will now have the opportunity to advance professionally, earn higher incomes, and take on leadership roles in their careers," Rea S. Hederman Jr., Buckeye's executive vice president, said. "Excessive government licensing is a barrier to many Ohioans, particularly to low- and middle-income residents."

Under current Ohio law, cosmetologists must undergo an additional 300 hours of training to obtain a government-issued salon-manager license, on top of the 1,200 training hours they already spent receiving their cosmetology license. For years, the reform has stalled because of opposition from private cosmetology schools, which sell trainings for the licenses.

"More Ohioans now have the opportunity to move up in their careers, and in life, by removing this harmful government licensing barrier," Sen. Jordan said. "This would not have been possible without our broad coalition of supporters, including The Buckeye Institute, which raised this issue among state residents and provided valuable research to policymakers on Capitol Square."

Jordan's measure was cosponsored by Sen. Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus). A companion bill was introduced in the House by Representatives by Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) and Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) that facilitated Senate Bill 213's eventual passage.

"Getting rid of the salon manager's license is particularly gratifying, but there are many other licenses we should be examining," Rep. Roegner, a long-time advocate against over-licensure, said. 

The Buckeye Institute brought increased scrutiny to Ohio's cosmetology requirements in Forbidden to Succeed: How Licensure Laws Hold Ohioans Back. The study, released in November 2015 at a statehouse event with lawmakers, details over-licensed and over-regulated modest-income professions. Hederman said The Buckeye Institute will bring a similar focus to other licensing requirements.

"If Ohio is to grow its economy and create opportunity for its residents, policymakers must take a close look at other government-mandated licensing requirements," Hederman said. "Cosmetologists and other licensed professionals want to move ahead. Ohio should let them."

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Founded in 1989, The Buckeye Institute is an independent research and educational institution—a think tank—whose mission is to advance free-market public policy in the states.