Bill would get rid of Arkansas Barber Board, professional licensing

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. —  A new controversial bill aims to make it easier to become a barber in the state of Arkansas.

If approved, Senate Bill 410 would effectively repeal the Arkansas Barber Law and abolish the State Board of Barber Examiners, the regulatory body for barbers across the state. Created in 1937, the board also sets the curriculum of study, registers and licenses those professionals and regulates the sanitation practices of businesses.

But the practice of licensing these professionals is actually having a negative impact, the legislation claims. Not only does it limit access to jobs, it also increases the cost of services and limits geographical mobility for those in the profession.

“By deregulating or delicensing the professions of barber and  shampooer, the citizens and the economy of this state would benefit greatly
without causing public health and safety issues,” it reads.

To start practicing, all a person would have to do is pay a $50 fee and a $2,000 cash bond.

The legislation isn’t without controversy.

Several hundred barbers have signed a petition online that states the move effectively “devalues every Barber License in the State” and allows anyone to practice without state oversight. The group also pointed out that there are numerous public health and safety aspects to barbering as well that a professional without a license might not be aware of.

To read the legislation, click here.

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