New Bill Would Abolish Regulation of Barbers and Cosmetologists in Texas

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, March 4, 2019

A new bill introduced in Texas would remove the current regulations governing barbers and cosmetologists. The bill is sponsored by Representative Matt Shaheen and awaits further consideration. You can review the text of House Bill 1705 (HB 1705) in full here.  Usually, in covering this pending legislation, we discuss some of the larger changes or addition to the current law. HB 1705 makes this task particularly easy: HB 1705 would repeal Title 9 of the Texas Occupations Code. Title 9 governs the regulation of Barbers, Cosmetologists, and related occupations. HB 1705 would also expire current licenses issued under Title 9, terminate any disciplinary investigation or hearing, and return prorated license fees to the applicants. This would have the effect of allowing anyone to open a salon or barbershop and start practicing without needing to obtain a license or receive any training. If passed, HB 1705 would make Texas an outlier in this area: occupational licensing laws are constantly seeking a balance between protecting the public from unskilled or unethical actors and allowing people to freely practice their chosen profession without unduly burdensome regulations. Most occupational licensing reform efforts seek to incrementally reduce the burdens while maintaining the protections for the public. In this regard, HB 1705 would move the balance firmly into the “reduced burden” zone.  We will be monitoring HB 1705 as it works its way through Texas’s legislative process this year. If you would like to contact HB 1705’s sponsor, he can be reached via the House of Representative’s website.