Lawmaker backs off on bill that area cosmetologists, barbers oppose

(Photo by John Carroll/file)
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AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) Texas state Rep. Matt Shaheen, R-Plano, has backed off on a bill that would have eliminated state licensing requirements for cosmetologists and barbers, which the owner of a local barber academy described as disastrous.

After meetings with constituents and those who work in the industry, Shaheen says the bill no longer calls for abolishing the licensing requirements.

He said in a press release he is instead moving forward with legislation directing the state licensing agencies to determine the optimal level of training need for those in the cosmetology field “while still protecting the health and safety of Texans.”

“The study will determine what improvements, if any, can be made to remove obstacles to employment and reward hard work, while continuing focus on keeping Texans safe.”

Some Central Texas cosmetologists, hair stylists and barbers were battling the original legislation, which called for the abolition of Title 9 of the Texas Occupations Code, which regulates barbers, cosmetologists and those in related occupations.

Lorraine Gritten, the owner and operator of the Champions Barber Academy in Waco, said the original bill eliminating the requirements would have been “disastrous on so many levels.”