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State reviewing professional regulations, but lifting requirements could hurt clients

MADISON (WKOW) — The state is reviewing regulations governing more than 200 professions in Wisconsin. The review has some business owners worried about their clients and their bottom lines.

Cosmetologist Georgianna Halverson is one of those professionals concerned after learning the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) is reviewing regulations and how they affect industries across Wisconsin.

“I think that we’re putting the public at risk,” Halverson said of any possibility of deregulation.

The owner of Elite Nail School fears any lifting of requirements or state-mandated certifications could hurt the industry.  “I understand the thought that they’re thinking that it’s just hair cutting and putting polish on. That is an old way of thinking. That is not what is currently going on in the industry today,” Halverson said.

Right now nail technicians who attend her school must accumulate 300 hours of training before they’re licensed. She says the rules are in place to protect students and the public.

“If you have a diabetic client, how are you sanitizing and disinfecting for that person? And do you understand that you should not clip their cuticles because of the risk of infection?,” she said.

But supporters of the review say there are too many licensing requirements in Wisconsin. Michael Jahr from the Badger Institute says in some cases there are too many steps between an entrepreneur and opening a business.

“There’s been an astronomical growth over the last 20 years. It used to be focused primarily on health care and public safety, but now we’re seeing regulation for all sorts of different occupations,” Jahr said in a phone interview.

“Some of the requirements are often onerous. They end up fencing out people who are trying to get to that first wrung of the ladder in their particular occupation or the economic ladder,” he continued.

“Not one professional that I know is on board with deregulation at all. It just doesn’t make sense,” Halverson said.

Jahr said, by law, the DSPS is required to conduct the survey by the end of the year. It must be completed by December 10th. Then they will forward their recommendations be to the legislature.

David Johnson

Reporter, WKOW

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