Legislative Testimony: LB 898, Credentialing Requirements for Natural Hair Braiding

Legislative Testimony: LB 898, Credentialing Requirements for Natural Hair Braiding

This article contains the text of legislative testimony provided by the Platte Institute's Jessica Herrmann before the Nebraska Legislature's Health and Human Services standing committee.

Chairwoman Campbell and Members of the Health and Human Services Committee, my name is Jessica Herrmann, and I am the Director of Legislative Outreach testifying today on behalf of the Platte Institute for Economic Research.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak in support of LB 898.

Currently, Nebraska law requires persons solely engaged in natural hair braiding to not only graduate from a school of cosmetology in Nebraska, but also complete 2100 hours of training mostly unrelated to natural hair braiding.

To put it simply, this is ridiculous. Hair braiders must not only obtain permission from the government, but also spend thousands of dollars on course instruction on coloring, men and women’s cutting, waxing, home creative skills, skin & spa services and chemistry.

This burdensome regulation creates a huge financial barrier to entry for this new class of entrepreneurs.

Capitol School of Hairstyling & Esthetics in Omaha lists its total tuition and fees as $20,095. Additionally, students must first obtain a high school degree or GED before they are even allowed to enroll. This is a major hurdle for those who are trying to begin a professional career without certain educational and socio-economic advantages.

More and more states are recognizing that occupational licensing laws are irrational, burdensome, and stifle economic growth in local communities.

Eleven states have completely exempted braiders from state credentialing requirements. Five states have created a separate licensing requirement for natural hair braiders with required coursework ranging from 6 to 35 hours. These are commonsense legislative approaches that allow citizens to earn an honest living without unreasonable government interference.

The Platte Institute will continue to strongly support such efforts, including LB 898, and we ask you to advance this bill out of committee.

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