Senator Paul Scott, R-Duncan, is the author of Senate Bill 101 to update Oklahoma’s barbering and massage therapist licensing rules. The bill went to conference and has passed both the Senate and House committee and is now heading to the House for a floor vote. If approved, it will then go on to the Governor for consideration.
“It has been rumored that I authored the bill to address a situation with one constituent, but that is not the case. I was contacted by a constituent who made me aware of a situation with the barbering licensing requirements under the Oklahoma Cosmetology and Barbering Board. I was simply made aware of a situation that potentially affects many Oklahomans,” Scott said. “We have individuals who have diplomas for completing competent training in another state or country and are not allowed to qualify for a license, take examination, or work in Oklahoma due to our current licensing requirements and rules. The licensing requirements for basic barbering need to be addressed.”
SB101 pertains to individuals who are trained and capable of performing barbering skills. They are educated on the safety and health codes for their field of expertise.
“As a health care guy myself, I am a strong advocate of safety and health. I would not do anything to jeopardize the safety and health of our citizens. I feel it is unreasonable that these trained individuals with diplomas and training cannot prove their experience and skills because the Board has rules preventing them from taking the examination for licensure,” Scott said.
SB101 also gives an opportunity for those persons who were trained in massage therapy prior to 2016, when the licensing law was enacted, to have time to obtain their license and continue working in their field. This opportunity to apply for licensure applies only before 2021. This bill would allow those individuals who have received their training in the years prior to 2016, but who are unable to qualify for a license under the current requirements, to be grandfathered in, receive their license and continue to work in their field of their expertise. It does not change anything in current law for Oklahoma state schools or their graduation requirements, and it does not affect individuals graduating after August 26, 2016.
Senator Scott passed SB101 in the Senate. It passed the House Rules committee last week, and he hopes to continue the effort to get this bill passed on the House floor this session.
“I am aware of the concerns and the various notices and statements being put out by opponents of the bill. Their concerns may not directly relate to the changes that I am proposing in this bill. If SB101 does not pass the House, I will continue to work on this issue with an interim study to prepare for next session,” Scott said. “It is not my intent to change curriculum or hours for graduation from any Oklahoma school or make any change that might harm anyone in the barbering or massage professions. I believe there is a need to ease some restrictions on licensing to allow citizens who were working in these occupations prior to the licensing requirement to go back to work in their desired occupations. It was the legislature that enacted the licensing laws and now I realize the impact some of these laws have on individuals who are actually trying to earn a living in these occupations. I want people to continue in their desired occupation without having to completely start over,” Scott said.