Michael Halmon: Deregulation bill would put Florida dead last in cosmetology safety standards

It’s appropriate for state lawmakers to consider the proper role of government and eliminate excessive regulations that hold back Florida’s economy.

At the same time, it’s essential that elected leaders preserve the fundamental responsibility of government to safeguard citizens and avoid actions that have unintended consequences.

Shortsighted legislation currently making its way through the legislative process would violate both of these principles by introducing a safety threat and aggravating the very problem it purports to correct.

The professional deregulation bills – SB 1640 and HB 27 – are being promoted as making it easier for people to enter the workforce as barbers or specialists in skin care and nails, supposedly eliminating barriers to entry into these professions.

However, these bills would actually increase the barrier to entry and would put the public at risk of illness and injury from undertrained practitioners by giving Florida the lowest training standards in the nation for barbers, esthetician, nail technicians, and full specialists.

This legislation would reduce the number of hours needed to work as a barber to 600, less than half the national average.

Within that limited time, students would have to learn fully about safety and sanitation,

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