In all the legislative efforts the past two years to deregulate occupational licenses, Sen. Linda Stewart and Rep. Daisy Morales believe one prospect got overlooked and became apparent during the 2020 coronavirus business shutdowns.
Should barbers be allowed to make house calls? Or at least practice outside the usual brick-and-mortar barbershop?
Last year’s occupational deregulation House Bill 1193, signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis, allows such freedom for cosmetologists, but not for licensed barbers. Barbers are allowed to make house calls only for a client who has a health issue that prevents a visit to a licensed barbershop.
Now Stewart has filed Senate Bill 1176 and Morales House Bill 855 to extend more freedom to make house calls for barbers. The bills would eliminate the requirement that clients must have debilitating health issues.
Stewart and Morales are both Orlando Democrats.
“The state has been on a trend of deregulating professions to provide access to services for more Floridians. This bill addresses an oversight in the recent deregulation package that allowed cosmetologists to perform services outside of their establishments, but failed to grant barbers that same privilege,” Stewart stated in a news release.
The COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the difference in rules applying to these professionals, the sponsors suggested in a news release. While the state began to open back up, many barbers did not have the ability to adapt their services to peoples’ safety needs by working out of their shops, they noted.
“This will level the playing field, allowing barbers to earn a living outside of the traditional barbershop. Especially this year, people need and deserve flexibility. This will be good for our licensed barbers and their customers,” Morales said.
Barbers will still need to hold a valid license from the state to offer their services outside of licensed establishments, and the bills do not change any of the current licensing requirements.