Commentary

Cutting Hair or Working as an Athletic Trainer in Michigan May Get a Bit Easier

Bills would lessen some licensing restrictions

People wanting to become or continue working as barbers, cosmetologists and athletic trainers in Michigan may soon be freed from some of the requirements they must meet to work legally. Two bills set to be taken up by lawmakers would get rid of some needless state mandates.

Senate Bill 184, introduced by Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, would revise the licensing law for athletic trainers by “eliminate[ing] a specified amount of continuing education classes that athletic trainers must take to maintain a newly required license mandated by the state (the equivalent of 25 hours per year), and instead leave the details of required additional courses to the discretion of government licensing officials.”

House Bill 4335, introduced by Rep. Jeff Yaroch, R-Richmond, would allow people who study to be a barber or cosmetologist to get a license in either occupation more easily. Each occupation has its own licensing requirements, and the bill would let someone who has worked to acquire one license to apply up to 1,000 hours of instructional credit toward receiving the other license. For example, an aspiring barber who logged 1,000 hours of instruction toward the barber license could use those same 1,000 hours of instruction toward the requirements of the cosmetologist license. This would help someone who started in one field and decided to go into the other, as it would no longer be necessary to start the instructional training all over again.

Workers have lots of incentives to get and keep up with the training they need to do their jobs effectively — for one thing, their livelihood depends on it. These bills would make it a little less burdensome for people in those three careers to meet the state’s licensing requirements. This is a move in the right direction, and the state should do more to review the occupational licensing barriers it puts in the way of people wanting to work.