In today’s Des Moines Register, the guest opinion by Kollan Kolthoff was very vague in his call for “common sense reform” of the licensing of cosmetologists. (See link below.) He wrote, “…leaders from within the industry are uniquely aware that there are problems that need to be addressed.” I presume the industry leaders he refers to are existing licensed cosmetologists and licensed schools of cosmetology. After a person has completed the 2,100 required hours of education and paid as much as $20,000, it is very understandable that they would not want to see license requirements significantly lowered – thereby indirectly lowering the value of what they have already paid for. Similarly, licensed schools of cosmetology have a very strong financial incentive to maximize the number or hours of schooling required for a license.
He also wrote Iowa needs reform that, “…protects consumers against the deregulation of licensed beauty professionals.” Deregulation does not and should not mean a lessening of regulation to keep consumers safe. Deregulation should focus on removing regulations that have the primary purpose of protecting the income of existing cosmetologists and schools of cosmetology.
The same issues apply to a large number of occupations that require a license from the state. Most calls for licensing, and opposition to deregulation, come from existing businesses and licensees, not from the general public. Our elective representatives should establish a process to review and reduce licensing requirements in Iowa so that only public safety is is taken into account when requiring Iowans to get a license from the state before being able to work in any particular job.