LB607 is bad for already hard hit businesses
It’s no secret that many Nebraska businesses are hurting as a result of forced shutdowns during the pandemic.
But a bill set for Select File debate this week would add insult to injury for a number of small businesses that were required to close this year.
LB607 is a bill that proposes to redefine what constitutes manicuring and pedicuring in the state of Nebraska. Current Nebraska law does not require state licensure as a nail technologist to perform manicures or pedicures on natural nails; but under LB607, natural nails will no longer be exempted.
If LB607 advances and is ultimately signed into law, this will pose a significant added burden to several small family-run nail salons – many owned and operated by immigrants. Owners and employees that currently don’t hold nail technology licenses will be forced to obtain training and apply for licensure, both requiring fees at a time when business revenues are down.
The passage of LB607 will not only burden business owners and workers, but it will also negatively affect Nebraskans. If businesses shut down, there will be fewer choices; and the cost to become licensed will likely be passed on to consumers.
The Platte Institute testified in opposition to LB607, and we suggested to the Health and Human Services Committee that if protection of the health and safety of the public was the goal of the bill, that other less burdensome (and probably more effective) options were available:
- Could the state instead require more frequent sanitation inspections of nail salons?
- Could the state instead require nail salon owners to carry liability insurance?
As with many proposals to increase licensing requirements, supporters of LB607 would benefit from reduced competition if the bill passes, including the Nebraska Board of Cosmetology, Electrology, Esthetics, Nail Technology and Body Art, Nebraska Cosmetologists United, the Nebraska Salon Owners Association and multiple nail technology and cosmetology licensees and instructors.
Owning and operating a nail salon is a path to entrepreneurship for many hardworking Nebraskans and is a means of earning an honest living for many immigrants in our state. As these very businesses have been forced to shut down for months and re-open at a limited capacity, now is not the time to impose more hardship on their livelihood.