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Assembly passes bill dealing with licensing requirements (UPDATE)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Legislature is moving to pass a bill that would eliminate continuing-education requirements for cosmetologists and barbers in Wisconsin, and make it easier for people licensed in other states to work in Wisconsin.

The bill is up for final approval Thursday in the Assembly after previously passing the Senate.

It would do away with the continuing-education requirement for cosmetologists, barbers and manicurists. The proposal would also remove a current requirement that applicants for a license in Wisconsin first have 4,000 hours of experience. Instead, they would have to take only a one-hour course teaching them Wisconsin laws and rules.

Opponents say the regulations being targeted are needed to ensure barbers and cosmetologists are properly qualified to work in the state.

Although the bill deals specifically with continuing-education requirements for cosmetologists, barbers and manicurists, it was preceded by a great deal of talk about having the state conduct a review of all licensing requirements to see which might be unnecessary or redundant.

Some feared the scrutiny would lead to the elimination of licensing requirements for particular trades. Proponents of the review, though, said they would only be looking at requirements for occupations that involve little danger to the general public.

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