Bill to Reduce Regulatory Burden on Working Alaskans Becomes Law
ANCHORAGE, AK—A bill to reduce the state’s regulatory burden on barbers, hairdressers, hair braiders and those with student loans was signed into law by Gov. Bill Walker.
“SB 4 gets government out of the way of Alaskans seeking economic independence and self-sufficiency,” said Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna), the bill’s sponsor. “This bill also strikes a healthy balance for working Alaskans between quality training and the ability to earn a living.”
SB 4 drastically reduces requirements separating two new license types: a non-chemical barber’s license and a braiding license, which would align training requirements to the specific demands and required skills of each trade. It also streamlines the process for obtaining a shop license by giving the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers the authority over Department of Environmental Conservation statutes and regulations for health and sanitation standards.
All barbers and braiders are currently held to the same standard as hairdressers trained in chemical waving, chemical straightening, bleaching, and coloring. They must complete a total of 1,650 training hours, which can cost up to $12,000, and the same apprentice hours as hairdressers. SB 4 reduces the hours required for non-chemical barbers and reduces braiders to 35 hours of required training. The changes grant more Alaskans the opportunity to join the industry and support their families through reduced requirements, specifically appropriate for each trade.
“The common-sense provisions in SB 4 provide greater economic opportunities for working Alaskans,” said Sen. Micciche. “This is a state where less than half of us work and where a third are on Medicaid. Meaningful employment leads to success and independence. By lowering the barrier to entry for Alaskans looking for work, the state will find less Alaskans dependent upon government welfare and Medicaid programs and more resources available for the truly needy.”
The bill separates tattooing from permanent cosmetic coloring, allowing for the evaluation of the tattooing license without creating inequity between the two fields of practice. In addition, the bill repeals statutes allowing the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education to threaten nonrenewal of an occupational license for default on a student loan, allowing Alaskans to continue earning an income so they can continue to support themselves while paying their outstanding student debt.
SB 4 passed the Senate unanimously and passed the House by a vote of 37 to 1, for a combined vote of 56 to 1.