Industry Legislation

Delaware Bans MMA, Forms Task Force

The Delaware State Legislature passed two of approximately 14 proposed bills that would impact cosmetologists, barbers, and nail technicians.

In the session that ended June 30, 1998, the Delaware State Legislature passed two of approximately 14 proposed bills that would impact cosmetologists, barbers, and nail technicians.

While disappointed that not all the bills were adopted as law, salon owner Gina Marsilii, president of the Delaware Manicurists Alliance, is jubilant that the two bills her association felt were critical were passed — one banning the use of MMA by nail technicians, and another giving the state board more power to address unlicensed practitioners. “Previously, we referred complaints about unlicensed practice to the Attorney General’s office, whereas now our investigators are empowered to go into a Justice of the Peace court and request a summons to call that person into court,” explains Carol Ellis, director of Delaware’s Division of Professional Regulation, which oversees 34 licensing boards, including cosmetology and bar-bering. “This relieves the Attorney General’s office of pursuing a matter that is not of the greatest importance to them when compared to the other crimes they deal with, and it greatly speeds up the process on our end.”

While many of the other bills sponsored by Senator David McBride in response to the lobbying efforts of the Delaware Manicurists Alliance either never made it to the floor or were passed but vetoed by the governor, Marsilii happily reports that a Senate Concurrent Resolution was passed forming a Nail Technology Task Force comprised of representatives from the public health department, the division of professional regulation, the state board, and herself. “We’re reviewing the proposed legislation and exploring other approaches,” Marsilii reports. “For instance, one of these bills required nail technicians to take continuing education to renew their license. We decided as a task force that we would put together a yearly newsletter that would give updates on sanitation regulations and other issues so that nail technicians are more informed”

According to Ellis, the task force also is putting together a survey of all licensed practitioners to inform them of some potential upcoming legislation, such as required annual inspections, and what impact that legislation would have on their licensing fees.

“We are telling them what is under consideration and what each one would cost, and asking what they are willing to pay for,” she explains. “The representative from the division of public health also will provide the task force with a draft of new sanitary regulations because the ones we have are so outdated, having been drafted long before the proliferation of nail salons.”

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