NewsPublic Affairs / February 26, 2016

Indiana Lawmakers Pass Shaving Issue Off To State Agency

A Senate committee Thursday opted to pass the buck to a state agency over whether cosmetologists should be allowed to shave their customers’ mustaches and beards. - stock photo

A Senate committee Thursday opted to pass the buck to a state agency over whether cosmetologists should be allowed to shave their customers’ mustaches and beards.

stock photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- A Senate committee Thursday opted to pass the buck to a state agency over whether cosmetologists should be allowed to shave their customers’ mustaches and beards.

At issue is a recent interpretation of state law that barred cosmetologists from shaving mustaches and beards.  The House version of the bill would have allowed the practice.  But in a Senate committee, barbers strenuously objected, arguing they receive extensive training that cosmetologists do not. 

The committee responded by shifting the entire issue to the Indiana Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners, letting it decide whether cosmetologists can wield razors in the workplace.

Rep. John Bartlett, who has voiced the barbers’ concerns, says that’s not the right solution.

“The legislature had an opportunity to fix a problem and they punted," Bartlett said. "It’s unfortunate.”

Senate GOP Leader David Long says he’s fine with the committee’s solution – because he’d rather not see any more bills that deal with licensing specific occupations.

“We’re talking about people who can shave.  I think it’s much ado about nothing, personally," Long said. "But I’m not real in favor of continuing to license everyone.”

The full Senate will consider the bill next week.

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