Legislature(2015 - 2016)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)
04/16/2015 01:30 PM Senate LABOR & COMMERCE
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HB 131-LICENSURE OF MANICURISTS/HAIR DRESSING 2:54:26 PM CHAIR COSTELLO announced the consideration of HB 131.: "An Act relating to the licensure of nail technicians and hairdressers; relating to the practice of manicuring; and providing for an effective date." [HB 131 AM was before the committee.] 2:54:38 PM REPRESENTATIVE LYNN GATTIS, sponsor of HB 131, stated that HB 131, as amended, improves the licensing process for nail technicians. Under current statute, nail technicians are able to apply for a manicurist license, which requires a 12 hour class or an advanced manicurist license, which requires 250 hours of course work and a final examination. HB 131 would create a single catchall nail technician license that would require 250 hours of course work and a final examination. This is appropriate since the industry has evolved and requires a truly skilled workforce. Nail technicians are expected to use drills and other electric tools and manipulate fiberglass, acetone and other chemicals that come in contact with the customer's body. There is a health and safety liability associated with this industry that is generally overlooked by the general public. She directed attention to the packets that contain pictures depicting some of the complications that can occur. She emphasized that it is not possible to teach the needed hygiene and safety standards and gain needed technical knowledge in a 12-hour one time class. REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS stated that this is the third year that the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers asked her to carry this legislation and over time she has come to realize that it is a matter of health and safety. She does not believe that government should dictate how businesses are run, but there has to be a balance between the free market and health and safety. Forty-eight other states require from 100 to 600 hours of course work for licensure and many require written examinations. Twenty-two of those states require over 400 hours of course work. Hairdresser and esthetician licensing requirements in Alaska have already transitioned to higher standards. Hairdressers need 1,650 hours of experience and must take a written and practical examination to receive a license. These requirements have not kept the 2,500 hairdressers in Alaska from getting their license. REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS concluded that HB 131 is a health and safety bill. It not only aligns Alaska's licensing requirements with other states but also makes the licensing requirements more appropriate for the skillset required in this industry. An added bonus is that this bill provides license reciprocity with other states. 2:59:50 PM SENATOR STEVENS asked how long a person has to complete the course work. REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS said the people that are currently working in the field have until August 31, 2017 to complete the course work and take the national test. CHAIR COSTELLO asked for an explanation of the fiscal note. REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS stated that it is a zero fiscal note. 3:01:24 PM CHAIR COSTELLO opened public testimony on HB 131. 3:01:45 PM DEANNA PRUHS, Member, Board of Barbers and Hairdressers, Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development (DCCED), testified in support of HB 131. She reported that she has been a licensed hairdresser in Alaska for 30 years of the 34 years she has worked in the profession. Three years ago she was appointed to the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers, which oversees hairdressers, barbers, estheticians, body piercing, tattoo artists, permanent cosmetics, and manicurists. Manicurists represent 1,200 of the 7,500 in this group and are the only ones that do not take a state board examination. She described the examination and professional license as important to show competency. The current manicurist license is misleading and could jeopardize the health and safety of the consumer paying for the service. She urged the committee to pass the bill and bring the nail technician license up to national standards. JEANNINE JABAAY, public member, State Board of Barbers and Hairdressers, testified in support of HB 131. She stated that she was appointed to the board two years ago and became aware that the requirements for manicurists and nail technicians are woefully inadequate. The 12 hours required to become a nail technician only covers the sanitation of tools. The advanced manicurist license requires 250 hours of education and a written examination. The bill seeks to eliminate the virtually useless nail technician license and instead change the current manicurist license to a nail technician license that covers the 250 hours. This new requirement will better educate these professionals, better protect the public and give reciprocity for those that are currently licensed in Alaska. The curriculum and examination is already owned by the state and therefore the fiscal impact to the state is zero. GLENDA LEDFORD, Member, State Board of Barbers & Hairdressers, Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development (DCCED), testified in support of HB 131. She stated that the 250 hours of education called for in HB 131 would provide the necessary time to adequately train nail technicians to perform their duties in a professional and safe manner. This bill would also give licenses that other states would recognize and give reciprocity. The licensing requirements set forth in HB 131 would place the state near the lower middle compared to other states. She stated that as a practitioner and instructor HB 131 will not present a hardship on current licensees because they will have more than two years to take the course and pass the examination. She urged the committee to pass the bill noting that the board has been working on it for eight years. 3:13:12 PM CHAIR COSTELLO found no further testifiers and closed public testimony 3:13:31 PM SENATOR MEYER motioned to report HB 131 from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). CHAIR COSTELLO announced that without objection HB 131 AM is reported from the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.