TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblywoman Aura Dunn introduced legislation to extend the time to renew cosmetology and hairstyling licenses due to the impact the coronavirus has had on the industry.
“Hairstylists and cosmetologists are already struggling to work under the restrictions to their business caused by the coronavirus,” said Dunn (R-Morris). “Other licenses that expired during this public health crisis have been granted extensions and this industry should be given the same opportunity.”
Dunn’s bill (A4868) would extend the time to renew a license through the state Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling up to four months after the expiration of the public health emergency. Additionally, the renewal fee would be waived. The board requires that cosmetologists and hairstylists renew their licenses every two years.
“I am extremely grateful for Aura Dunn’s introduction of this bill. As a New Jersey salon owner for over 30 years, the shutdown devastated our industry in an unprecedented way,” said Lisa Luciano, owner of Salon Luce in Boonton. “The state board of cosmetology’s expectation that licenses be renewed during the shutdown demonstrates that they gave no thought to the individuals and businesses who were critically affected. This bill will make some headway in remedying that oversight by the state board.”
Gov. Phil Murphy forced more than 10,000 hair salons and barbershops to close between March 19 and June 22 affecting almost 80,000 licensed professionals.
“These employees lost months of wages due to shutdowns and after being permitted to reopen in June, they could only serve a few clients at a time because of capacity limits,” explained Dunn. “We need to allow those whose licenses have expired during the coronavirus to continue to work and earn money.”
In September, graduates of cosmetology schools who have been working under temporary permits were granted a one-year extension because of the suspension of practical examinations during the pandemic.
Dunn’s bill has been referred to the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee.