Senator Bob Mensch Sponsors Legislation to Grant Business Waivers to Barbers, Cosmetologists & Hair Salons

HARRISBURG – State Senator Bob Mensch (R-24) is joining a pair of Senate Republicans in introducing Senate Bill 1154. This legislation would safely reopen hair salons, barbers and cosmetologists for business.

Senator Mensch, along with Senators Doug Mastriano (R-33) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28), recently proposed a measure requiring the state’s Department of Community & Economic Development to grant a business waiver to licensed barbers and cosmetologists, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our citizens have every right to personal services, such as something as fundamental as hair cutting,” said Mensch.  “To deny our citizens to have their personal needs addressed in a safe manner is absurd.  We need to allow people to have their personal dignity.”

As part of the legislation, specific measures would be prescribed that all licensed barbers and cosmetologists would have to follow. The Senators have heard that these individuals are willing to comply with these safety measures in order to open back up and earn a living. Strict Center for Disease Control guidelines would have to be followed, as well as protocols by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the federal Labor Department.

“With the state being on lockdown mode, most Pennsylvanians are unable to conduct these activities at home,” said Mastriano. “These services are essential, despite the Governor’s opinion. This legislation will not only help state residents – young and old – with much needed grooming, but it will also help our small businesses.”

Patrons would be permitted by appointment only, and masks would be worn at all times, by customers and employees. Other safety precautions are included in the bill, such as social-distancing and equipment cleansing.

“Our licensed cosmetologists have had extensive training and can only practice with a state-issued license,” Phillips-Hill said. “This bill will ensure those professionals may operate under strict CDC guidelines to ensure safety of their customers. Neighboring states are moving to reopen these businesses or are already open serving essential employees, and there is no reason Pennsylvania cannot move in this direction as well.”

While the Governor recently relaxed mitigation restrictions across Pennsylvania, there are still numerous businesses that cannot operate, such as hair salons, barber shops and cosmetologists.

Senate Republicans have advocated for a safe and methodical re-opening of statewide businesses.

For more information on Senator Mensch’s legislation, visit www.senatormensch.com.  State updates can also be found on Senator Mensch’s Facebook at facebook.com/PASenatorBobMensch/ or Twitter @SenatorMensch.

CONTACT: Madison Scarfaro mscarfaro@pasen.gov  (215) 541-2388