Licensing deregulation heads to House floor — over business interests objections
Blaise Ingoglia wants to rate Florida towns on an A-F scale.

INGOGLIA 7.16.18
Bill impacts everything from barbers to auctioneers.

Legislation loosening rules on everything from hotel interior designers to princess party practitioners moved one step further.

The House Commerce Committee on Thursday morning advanced an omnibus professional deregulation bill (HB 27).

The fruits of Florida’s deregathon, state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia said it would reduce or completely remove licensing rules for barbers, auctioneers, landscape architects and numerous other professions.

“There is a litany of economists on both sides of the aisle who agree: Occupational licensing is an impediment to employment,” the Spring Hill Republican said. “Almost everyone agrees deregulating occupational licensing is a good thing.”

But Democratic members continued to raise public safety concerns as business leaders sounded caution on reducing standards for work.

Officials from the Florida Retail Federation and numerous other professional industries spoke out against the legislation. Critics said that should be telling for a bill supposedly aimed at improving Florida’s business climate.

Dan Washburn, the owner of 31 Great Clips salons in Florida, said the company already has trouble finding qualified barbers and hair stylists. That’s because Florida requires 600 hours of training for a license, a lower requirement than in 47 other states.

“We have great jobs and are always in need of more talent,” he said. “But this will exacerbate a problem.”

Many companies already require extra training beyond license requirements. But even beyond employability issues in Florida, such low training requirements could ultimately trap professionals in the state.

Chad Johnson, of the Florida Auctioneers Association, said deregulating certain industries could have greater consequence than realized at first blush. He said most think of auctioneers and think of fast talking and charismatic presentation, but there’s also important fiduciary responsibilities for the profession.

And some said that while licensing for professionals like nail stylists who visit people’s homes for parties sounds innocent, consumers should be cautious about inviting any unlicensed professional into their home.

Michael Halmon of the Florida Association of Cosmetologists and Technical Schools slammed the legislation as “reckless.”

“We must uphold current training standards for Cosmetology Specialists and Barbers in order to protect the safety of millions of Florida consumers who receive services that expose them to potentially dangerous instruments and harmful chemicals,” he said in  statement.

“We will carefully monitor this misguided bill as it moves through the legislative process and will continue to work with lawmakers to prioritize public health and safety by protecting strong standards for the well-being of our state’s residents and visitors.”

But in contrast, supporters of legislation say the bill could address some inequities that hurt female-dominated professionals and racial minorities.

Attorney Justin Pearson, for example, noted a provision that requires hair braiders who use a weft, which is needed for popular African American hair braiding, requires a license. The weft-less braiding of white women’s hair faces no such obstacle.

Ingoglia said Florida simply has too many professions requiring strict regulations. He notes while nationwide there are more than 1,100 various professional licenses offered by states, only about 60 are required by all of them.

Some lawmakers who voted against the legislation said there were provisions of the bill they liked, but the legislation ultimately touches too many industries.

State Rep. Evan Jenne, a Dania Beach Democrat, said wrapping so many different issues into the single piece of legislation proved problematic.

“Each of these issues deserves a standalone bill, not a 120-page bill,” he said.

The Commerce Committee, like the Government Operations and Appropriations and Business and Professions subcommittees, advanced the bill on a largely party-line vote.

But the bill did win over some Democrats, like state Rep. Jennifer Webb of Pinellas County, who long worked in economic development. The bill now heads to the House floor.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]



    Ok, OK, it takes Florida 120 pages to do this, but this bill is a serious down-payment on getting Government out of “licensing”. We will be back for more, but let the record reflect that we are quite pleased with this.

    For your information, the platform of the Libertarian Party of Florida says as follows on the licensing process:

    (LPF Platform, Part I, State Government, Section 5, revised May 7, 2017):

    “ … State government should be removed entirely from the licensing process, including occupational licensing. It has produced no better results than private licensing and amount to another tax … “


  • Maura Scali-Sheahan

    April 4, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    I do wish the proponents of HB 27 would get their facts straight. Let’s address just some of the misinformation that was presented at today’s Commerce Committee meeting and even one of those stated above:

    Rep. Blaise Ingoglia

    Barbers do hair; Cosmetologists do skin (later added “hair” to what cosmetologists do).

    Correction: Barbers in Florida are licensed to perform haircutting/styling, straight razor shaving, facials, shampooing, chemical texture services (perms, relaxers, curl reformations) hair coloring and lightening, and hair replacement services.
    Restricted barbers are licensed to perform all of the above except the chemical and hair replacement services.

    Cosmetology license requires 600 hours.
    Correction: Cosmetology license requires 1200 hours.

    Speaker who stated that a weft is a “decorative string”. This gentleman was obviously confusing a weft with threads, ribbons or other materials used in “hair wrapping”, which in itself, is not to be confused with the term “hair wrap or wrapping” as used to define the method of molding the hair around the head as a “setting” technique.

    Correction: A weft is a strip of human or artificial hair with a threaded edge used in wig-making and hair extension services. Wefts, a.k.a. hair extensions, are applied to an individual’s natural hair by sewing the weft onto a braided section or, by using adhesive agents, with or without heat, to bond the weft to the natural hair; solvents and oils are used to remove bonding agents from the hair.

    In addition, those of us in the field know that hair extensions are often applied to chemically straighten hair and this is where the most risk for damage occurs. If the practitioner is not properly trained to assess the condition and strength of the hair; doesn’t know how to perform the service without excessive pulling or tightening; or, doesn’t understand the interactions of different chemical products and bonding agents on the hair, the client runs the risk of experiencing scalp irritation or injury, breakage, or hair loss.

    This commentary:
    Mr. Washburn said 600 hours for barbers would not be enough. Florida barbers are currently required to complete 1200 hours of education and training.

    • Maura Scali-Sheahan, Ed D

      April 6, 2019 at 9:55 am

      Addendum: A few additional points to make…

      Representative Ingoglia:
      1. Referencing “Princess Parties” as an example as to why skin care/make up and nail tech training should be deregulated is ridiculous at best. IF, one of these party companies offers the availability of hair, makeup, or nail services…and not all of them do…they send the customer to a list of licensed providers to mitigate their own liability should any situations arise.

      2. The Institute for Justice (IJ) License to Work studies, so often referenced by supporters of deregulation, contains certain data that is incorrect. Fees inclusive of examination and licensure for Florida barbers is $233.50 during even-numbered years and $173.50 during odd-numbered years, not $428 as stated in the IJ study. The data was also incorrect for 13 of our 24 NABBA* member states.

      This finding is important because data from the original IJ License to Work study was used and cited to draw conclusions in the July,2015 Occupational Licensing: A Framework For Policymakers (also referred to by Representative Ingoglia), and is an indication of how such misinformation is recirculated to the detriment of our professions.

      Sal Nuzzo
      Mr. Nuzzo, from the James Madison Institute, has incorrectly stated before this and other committees that cosmetologists are allowed to shave the back, but not the front of the neck, with a straight razor. Shaving in general, and the use of a straight razor specifically, is not included under the practice of cosmetology or cosmetology licensure, nor is shaving with a straight razor a topic of study within cosmetology textbooks or curricula. This is true in Florida and in the majority of the States.

      *National Association of Barber Boards of America

  • gary

    April 4, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    I am always pro removing government! In a lot of these occupations, YELP and other social grading platforms do a better job of weeding out the bad eggs and cost nothing to do it! Perform well, you grow your business no government needs to apply!

  • Dan Washburn

    April 4, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Maura is right!! I said that we currently experience hiring challenges with the barber hour requirement at 1,200. If that requirement is slashed in half, graduates will not have the skills to succeed. Our company will not be able to hire these individuals because they will lack the basic skills to perform services on our customers. We are not in the training business and there is no way we can provide the 600 hours of missing training. Representative Ingoglia stated that the 425+ hours covering safety and sanitation would remain in the curriculum, leaving only 150+ hours for students to learn the basic skills required to perform services. There will be no salon or barber shop that will survive hiring one of these individuals to practice another 600 hours on their customers. There are only 2 states that have lower hour requirements than Florida. Massachusetts and New York at 1000 hours. These poor graduates will be doomed. Florida salons will not hire them and other states will certainly not grant them a license without significant additional training. Instead of reducing barriers to a career this bill will have the unintended consequence of doing exactly the opposite, under-preparing individuals for a career in which they will be unemployable.

    • gary

      April 4, 2019 at 10:20 pm

      Dan, 47 other states disagree with your opinion! Simple!

      • Maura Scali-Sheahan, EdD

        April 4, 2019 at 11:21 pm

        Gary, 47 other states have higher standards than Florida, including hands-on practical exams.

Comments are closed.


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