Wisconsin's arbitrary licensing rules prevent a graduating chiropractor who passed the national board exam with flying colors from practicing in the state where four generations of her family have served as chiropractors for nearly a century.
Wisconsin requires higher scores on the national chiropractor board exam than most other states. Mikhaila Weister graduated from chiropractic school in 2016, passed the national exam and is eager to begin practicing in her hometown of Appleton. But due to the arbitrary nature of occupational licensing regulations, Weister and others cannot practice in the Badger State.
NBC26 in Green Bay reports on Dec. 3, 2017, on two bills signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker modifying licensure requirements for professions like cosmetologists and barbers. "It'll make it easier for them to gain entry into these professions," said Badger Institute Vice President Michael Jahr.
Barbers, cosmetologists and other beauty professionals will now be able to practice their professions with fewer regulatory burdens after Gov. Scott Walker signed into law in November 2017 reforms that will reduce some of the professions’ complicated and costly licensing requirements.
Today's TMJ4 reports on May 1, 2017, about efforts to reform professional licensure regulations in Wisconsin. The TV report features Badger Institute President Mike Nichols.
University of Wisconsin-Madison students Samuel Haack and James Rohde couldn't launch their Uber-like haircut business in Wisconsin without action from the Legislature. In November 2017, reforms were passed that opened the door for businesses such as theirs.
Albert Walker, whose clients include many Packers players, has years of barbering experience but couldn't run his own shop. Before recent reforms, Wisconsin was one of only five states to require a higher-level license in some occupations for people to manage their own businesses.
Albert Walker and Packers defensive end Mike Daniels discuss Walker’s barber lounge in Green Bay. Before reforms were signed into law in November 2017, the shop was in jeopardy due to onerous state licensing regulations.
As the labor market for teachers evolves, we need more competition and less regulation. The fundamental problem with traditional teacher compensation is that it produces simultaneous shortages and surpluses of teachers.
Badger Institute President Mike Nichols and Iron River salon owner Krissy Hudack testify before the state Senate Committee on Public Benefits, Licensing & State-Federal Relations on April 6, 2017, about the need for licensure reform.
The Badger Institute report, published in April 2017, tells the real-world stories of Wisconsinites cheated out of their livelihoods by the state's onerous and often arbitrary licensure regulations. Research and stories show the need for occupational licensing reform in Wisconsin. In November 2017, Gov. Scott Walker signed into law reforms that removed some of the regulations highlighted in the report.
Wisconsin currently licenses hundreds of professions. Some of those are unobjectionable, but others are problematic. Unnecessary occupational licensing hurts the entire state, but those who come from low-income households — and may lack the means to obtain the training to get such jobs — suffer the most.
"How often do ethics change in massage therapy?" Sara Cerwin wonders. For the Milwaukee massage therapist, it’s a 24-month chase for training hours that begins all over again once she’s met her state requirements for continuing education.
"We’re not playing with people’s lives. We’re playing with people’s hair," says Krissy Hudack, owner of Sky's the Limit salon in northern Wisconsin. “It’s hard to keep a small business operating,” she adds, and the licensing merry-go-round doesn’t help.
Iron River salon owner Krissy Hudack understands the need for licensing for the sake of public health and safety. But she sees a system mired in bureaucracy and fees, making it hard for a small shop like hers to survive.
Cassie Mrotek, a beauty school graduate from Milwaukee, just wants to work but has been thwarted for over a year. She is puzzled by the difference in cosmetology training hours required from state to state. While Wisconsin requires 1,550 hours, Florida requires 1,200. And some states, such as Massachusetts and New York, require only 1,000 hours.
Cassie Mrotek loves her trade, says she’s a fighter and will keep trying to get her cosmetology license so she finally can have her own chair at the salon where she works as a receptionist and apprentice. But she sees why other people might not keep battling if they were in her shoes.