PRESS CONFERENCE: Occupational Licensing Reciprocity Reform


Last week Rep. George Lang (R) and Rep. Jena Powell (R) had the pleasure of unveiling legislation to allow reciprocity in Ohio for out-of-state license holders. 

This year, Arizona became the first state to broadly recognize out-of-state licenses. Ohio can become the second state in the nation to do so with this legislation.

Part of solving the workforce shortage in Ohio is helping people enter the workforce faster, and encouraging people who already hold licenses in other states to want to move to and/or work in Ohio.

After the lengthy process and the financial investment that people have already gone through in another state to receive their license, they don’t want to have to add to that an extensive wait in Ohio. Current law discourages qualified individuals from moving to our state, filling needed jobs, and investing in our communities. 

We know that Ohio is an incredible place to live. We want people to be able to move here and invest in our communities. One of the barriers to this happening is the fact that Ohio currently does not recognize out-of-state licenses.  If we recognize out-of-state licenses, we will send a bold message to the rest of the country that Ohio is open for business. Come and practice your trade in our communities.

We can be on the leading edge and solving the workforce shortage in our state by passing this critical legislation.

To read more check the Dayton Daily News article here.

Rep. Powell Sponsor Testimony: Cosmetology Reform Act

Rep. Powell Sponsor Testimony: Cosmetology Reform Act

Below is sponsor testimony given to the House State and Local Government Committee

Chairman Wiggam, Vice Chair Stephens, Ranking Member Kelly, and members of the House State and Local Government Committee, thank you for the opportunity to present sponsor testimony on HB 399.

The Cosmetology Reform Act will comprehensively reform Ohio’s occupational licensures as well as cosmetology and barber laws, and seeks to make Ohio the national model in this area.

This bill seeks to: (1) focus on cosmetology student success in entering the beauty industry with less debt and greater ability to repay student loans; (2) facilitate a continuous workforce development pipeline for salons; (3) reduce the amount of unnecessary regulations placed on members of the cosmetology industry, and make it easier for Ohioans to begin or expand their business in the state. From small business owners to aspiring cosmetologists, mostly women and minorities, this legislation would remove significant barriers to success.

This legislation is written to accomplish the following goals:

  1. License mobility/reciprocity – Ohio is open for business.  The license reciprocity language creates license mobility and facilitates movement between different states for a more mobile workforce.  It strives to minimize the tendency of stylists to drop out of the industry or go underground due to a lengthy license transfer process, and enables multi-state employers to relocate employees, increasing their career opportunities.  Three states, Arizona, Montana, and Pennsylvania, recently passed legislation to remove barriers to work for all active licensees from other states to begin working within days, not months when moving into those states.
  2. Allows on-demand scheduling and working outside a salon – Several beauty industry licensees need to provide on-site cosmetology services for weddings, films and special occasions around the state outside of a bricks and mortar salon.  Our legislation ensures that the Ohio State Cosmetology and Barber Board (OSCBB) can ensure such services can be performed on-site and with reasonable requirements for licensees to ensure public safety.
  3. Lowers state mandated licensure hour requirements. Lower the Ohio requirement for cosmetology licensure hours from 1,500 to 1,000; reduce hair designer licensure hours from 1,200 to 800; and reduces barber hours from 1,800 to 1,000.  Independent research and successful models in New York, Massachusetts, and now Vermont and Texas, show there is no justification for requiring more than 1,000 hours of education for cosmetology or barber licensure.
  4. Provides Licensees with 1,500 hours of training an Intermediate License – This change ensures that all licensees that have completed 1,500 by the effective date of this bill will receive an intermediate license.  It also provides public and private schools the opportunity to establish a higher level of training for future licensees as an elective course without being state required hours.
  5. Creates a cosmetology apprentice process for licensure – Several private schools of cosmetology have closed their doors in the last 4 years.  This is leading to significant concern for small salons across the state to ensure a steady stream of new licensees are becoming licensed in Ohio.  The apprenticeship program in our bill is modeled after more than 20 states, like Wisconsin, Tennessee and Alabama.  This program will provide salon owners the opportunity to become a provider and future cosmetology licensees the ability to work and earn a wage while working toward licensure rather than taking on student loan debt.
  6. Sets schools of cosmetology up for success and consistency across state lines – One area focuses on requiring pre-graduate testing for public and private school students.  Two states, Arizona and Illinois, recently enacted such changes.  This change not only gives students the opportunity to get remedial training if they fail, but allows graduates to be licensed immediately upon graduation, moving into the workforce sooner to earn wages, pay taxes, and begin repaying loans.  In addition, the bill authorizes distance learning to provide maximum flexibility for students to learn when and where convenient and lowers the cost for schools traditional on-site, bricks and mortar classrooms.

As most of you have heard me say, I am on a mission to make Ohio the most business-friendly state in the nation. One of the biggest steps we can take in that direction is to stop overregulating individuals in our state. It is time we move forward to make Ohio a more attractive place for individuals to live, work, play, and raise families in our communities.

Thank you again for the opportunity to present HB 399, the Cosmetology Reform Act, and I am happy to answer any questions from the Committee at this time.

Rep. Powell Introduces Cosmetology Reform Act

Representative Powell (R-Arcanum) Wednesday filed House Bill 399 – Cosmetology Licensing Reform Legislation.

Rep. Powell says, “I am on a mission to make Ohio the most business-friendly state in the nation, and one of the biggest steps we can take in that direction is to stop overregulating individuals in our state.”

“As a state, it is time we move forward from the past policies of overregulation, and move forward to make Ohio a more attractive place for individuals to live, work, play, and raise families in our communities,” continues Powell.

H.B. 399 will lower the state mandated licensure hour requirements from 1,500 to 1,000 for cosmetologists, from 1,200 to 800 for hair designers, and from 1,800 to 1,000 for barbers. It will authorize distance learning for cosmetology school students, and allow on-demand scheduling and working outside a salon to increase flexibility and training experience for students.

As always, if you have any questions about this or any other state government concern, please reach out to our office at 614-466-8114 or Rep80@ohiohouse.gov.

Ohio House Passes the “Tax Code Streamlining and Correction Act”

Ohio House Passes the “Tax Code Streamlining and Correction Act”

COLUMBUS— State Representatives Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) and Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township) today announced the Ohio House passage of House Bill 197, “Tax Code Streamlining and Corrections Act”; HB 197 makes over 100 changes to update the laws governing taxation. The legislation makes our tax code accurate and clear by fixing errors.

HB 197 updates the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) sections by addressing typographical errors, incorrect cross-references, removing obsolete sections, and rearranging organizational defects.

“The Tax Code Streamlining and Corrections Act is not a flashy bill, but corrects over 100 errors in the tax code,” said Powell. “Today, with a single bill, the Ohio House is fixing decades of accumulated mistakes and errors embedded into our tax laws…mistakes which undermine our legal code.”

“Ohioans and businesses will have a better opportunity to prosper with a clear and accurate tax code,” said Merrin.

This bill has garnered support from the Ohio Society of CPAs, the County Treasurers Association of Ohio, the County Auditors Association of Ohio, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

HB 197 passed the Ohio House unanimously and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

For more information, contact Rep. Powell’s office at 614-466-8114 or Rep80@ohiohouse.gov or Rep. Merrin’s office at 614-466-1731 or Rep47@ohiohouse.gov

Monthly Constituent Liaison Office Hours

Rep. Jena Powell will again be sending a constituent liaison from her Columbus office to be in-district this upcoming Monday, September 9th. No appointments are necessary – individuals and families can feel free to show up and talk to the liaison about any government questions or concerns you may have.

“I know government can be hard to navigate alone,” says Powell. “Our office’s constituent liaison does a wonderful job of helping you work through specific issues. If you want to meet with me personally, as always call our office and we’ll set up a time.”

Monday, November 4th, a constituent liaison will be at the Troy-Miami Public Library in Troy from 10am-11:30am. Rep. Powell’s constituent liaison will then be at the Arcanum Public Library in Arcanum from 12pm-1:30pm on Monday.

To schedule a personal meeting with Rep. Powell, or if you have any state government concerns you can give our office a call at 614-466-8114 or email Rep80@ohiohouse.gov.

Sponsor Testimony on H.B. 196 – Unjust [501(c)(3)] Fitness Center Tax Act

What is H.B. 196? H.B. 196 corrects a 1992 error that mistakenly added sales tax to non-profit fitness center memberships here in Ohio. This Act will solve this problem by exempting 501(c)(3) fitness center memberships from sales tax, saving Ohioans $10 million dollars.

This Tuesday, Representative Powell gave sponsor testimony in the Ways & Means Committee. Watch her testimony here:

Good Afternoon Chairman Merrin, Vice Chair LaRe, Ranking Member Rogers, and members of the House Ways and Means Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to provide sponsor testimony this afternoon on House Bill 196. This legislation will align Ohio with nearly every other state by removing the sales tax burden from non-profit fitness memberships.
This issue first began in 1992, when these memberships were seemingly accidentally included in a tax code revision. This change increased the tax burden of Ohioans seeking a healthier lifestyle by taxing facilities like the YMCA and Jewish Community Centers for the first time. Ohio became one of only five states in the nation to tax non-profit fitness memberships.
At the time the mistake was discovered, many legislators on both sides of the aisle opposed this new tax. My bill would remove this tax and return Ohio non-profit fitness memberships to full tax exempt status, as they should be as 501(c)(3)s. Taxing memberships is unjust and runs contrary to the YMCAs’ charitable nonprofit purpose. The state exempts other 501(c)(3)s from sales tax, and why should non-profit fitness centers be any different.
Eliminating this mistaken sales tax on non-profits will amount to a tax cut of less than $10 million, which is a small sum for government when compared to the over $23 million in financial assistance to participate in programs that the YMCA provides to all Ohioans.
As a non-profit, YMCAs are not like a for-profit fitness center. YMCAs also provide essential programs to Ohio’s communities, including:
1. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which saves over $2000 per person in healthcare costs;
2. Early childhood education, before and after school care, and summer day camp. The YMCA is Ohio’s and the nation’s largest provider of child care, and our quality programs help children be Kindergarten ready, and prevent the “summer slide.”
Every one of these programs is an investment being made by these community organizations and is an investment that will improve Ohioans lives while saving the state resources. Non-profit organizations operate for the good of the public and provide needed services to more than 750,000 individuals well beyond access to a weight room and treadmills. These organizations provide an incredible array of services and opportunities to our communities.
In Ohio, non-profit gyms play a critical role in helping keep our citizens healthy.
As a state, we do not tax non-profits due to their 501(c)(3) status. It is a mistake that we currently tax memberships to non-profit fitness centers such as the YMCA and Jewish Community Centers. HB 196 will solve this problem by exempting non-profit fitness centers memberships from Ohio sales tax.
Thank you for your support and consideration. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
– Jena Powell

Sponsor & Proponent Testimony for HR 180

On Tuesday, Representative Jena Powell presented sponsor testimony on House Resolution 180 which will declare pornography a public health crisis that perpetuates human trafficking and the abuse of women and minors.
Below please find Representative Powell’s testimony. 11 individuals came to give proponent testimony, and 6 submitted written proponent testimony. For the video of the Health Committee’s 9/17/19 meeting, please start the video at 30 minutes in for Rep. Powell’s testimony.

Chairman Merrin, Vice Chair Manning, Ranking Member Boyd, and Members of the Health Committee, thank you for allowing me to present sponsor testimony today on H.R. 180, a resolution to declare that pornography is creating a public health crisis in relation to the increase in sex trafficking, abuse of women, and minors.
Ohio is the fourth worst state in the United States for human sex trafficking (this is according to statistics compiled by the National Human Trafficking Hotline and the U.S. Marshalls Office).

• Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered the Trafficking in Persons report, which is created annually by the State Department to document human trafficking in the year prior. He stated, “The United States is the number one consumer of sex worldwide. So we are driving the demand as a society.” At the heart of the human trafficking trade in America is simple economics: Supply and demand.
• Pornography is integral to prostitution and coerced sexual acts, and over half of sex trafficking victims report that they were required to learn and perform according to pornographic media. Please refer if you wish to the study in front of you conducted by psychologist Melissa Farley. There is also a study in front of you from the Northwestern University Law Review discussing how human traffickers force those they have trafficked into pornographic videos as a way to entrap them.
According to a 2016 Barna Group survey, 64% of young people (aged 13-24) proactively seek out pornography weekly.

It is crucial to understand pornography as a form of violence against women. Mainstream pornography consists of socially sanctioned acts of direct violence against women.
• An analysis of the 50 most popular pornographic videos found that 88% of the scenes contain physical violence against women and in 95% of these scenes, the woman displays a positive or neutral reaction to the violence. You can find the scholarly article which has the results of these analyses in the stack of articles we passed out to you.
UNICEF.org says that pornography increases the demand for commercialized sex, especially with underage girls and boys.

According to the American Psychological Association, the earlier a boy is exposed to pornography the more likely he is to want power over women, and the later a man is exposed to pornography the more likely he is to engage in playboy behavior. Both having negative impact on our community. Pornography shrinks the brain and the brain reacts to pornography similarly to how it reacts to cocaine. You can see the statistics and research found on a University of Nebraska Lincoln chart.
We live in a time of a pornography epidemic, where young children are exposed and addicted to pornography thus causing a myriad of problematic sexual activity (feel free to look at the Times article in the stack which discusses the problems young men are having with ED due to porn), low self-esteem (for both boys and girls as referenced in multiple articles in front of you), negatively impacting brain development (see the Your Brain on Porn article for information on dozens of studies by neuroscientists and scholars about how pornography affects brain development and behavior), etc.
• Men who watch pornography are more likely to believe that women want to be raped, and to include violent acts of aggression and physical violence against women during sex, having been conditioned by pornography to believe these acts are normal and that women like to be choked, raped, etc. Please see the Pornography as a Public Health Issue article we have given you.
• This devaluation of women and children is because of the fact that “when neurologists looked at their brain scans, men’s brains reacted to women as if they were objects, not people.” This is a quote from Dr. Foubert, whose article on the public health harms of pornography is in front of you. His studies, and others, have shown that viewing pornography increases sexual aggression. You may see the article from the Journal of Communication for additional support.

Overall, the factors which compel men and women to enter the pornography industry are the same factors that place individuals at risk for human trafficking. Poverty, abuse, homelessness, and a history of childhood sexual or physical abuse.
• If you go online to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or to view sex trafficking data collected by the Office of the Ohio Attorney General, you will see these factors listed as risk factors for trafficking.
• Please also reference the Public Health Harms of Pornography summary of peer-reviewed studies and papers

This resolution will not outlaw pornography – this resolution is bringing awareness to the negative impact that pornography has on society, through its contributions to the demand for trafficked persons, violence against women, men, and minors, and its destruction of the brains as well as families of those individuals who are caught in its addicting web.
We want to promote human flourishing and a health society – we must recognize that this includes pushing against pornography and human trafficking for children and families. This resolution will declare that we in the Ohio House of Representatives, are against human trafficking and the sexual mistreatment of our fellow human beings whether they be women, men, or children. Let us by this resolution encourage families, churches, and businesses on a local level to promote education, prevention, research, and policy changes to confront the proliferation of pornography and human trafficking.

Today is the day to stand up and say enough is enough against the exploitation of women and children in our communities.
I’m happy to take any questions from the committee at this time.

Representative Jena Powell
Ohio’s 80th House District

September: Constituent Liaison In-District Office Hours For State Rep. Jena Powell

Monthly In-District Office Hours

COLUMBUS –
Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) will again be sending a constituent liaison from her Columbus office to be in-district this upcoming Monday, September 9th. No appointments are necessary – individuals and families can feel free to show up and talk to the liaison about any government questions or concerns you may have.

“I know government can be hard to navigate alone,” says Powell. “Our office’s constituent liaison does a wonderful job of helping you work through specific issues. If you want to meet with me personally, as always call our office and we’ll set up a time.”

This Monday, September 9th, a constituent liaison will be at the Troy-Miami Public Library in Troy from 10am-11:30am. Rep. Powell’s constituent liaison will then be at the Arcanum Public Library in Arcanum from 12pm-1:30pm on Monday.

To schedule a personal meeting with Rep. Powell, or if you have any state government concerns you can give our office a call at 614-466-8114 or email Rep80@ohiohouse.gov.

Op-Ed: Cut the Bureaucratic Red Tape and Fix the Workforce Shortage

In our community, we know that Ohio is a wonderful place to live. As our Columbus office says when you call in, “It’s a great day to live in Ohio!” 

While we love living in Ohio, there are things we can do to make Ohio a more attractive place to live and work. Right now, we have a workforce shortage in Ohio. One way to help families, businesses, and individuals in our state is through initiating license reciprocity in a way that will cause Ohio’s economic climate to thrive.

License reciprocity says that if you hold an occupational license in another state, you can come and practice that occupation here in Ohio without having to go through the whole education, training, and testing component again. For example, if you are an electrician in Indiana, and you want to work in Ohio and/or move to Ohio, right now you would have to apply for an occupational license in Ohio take a test, pay a fee, and jump through bureaucratic hoops.

The House recently passed temporary license reciprocity for members of the military and their immediate family members. We want to expand this reciprocity for every individual whose license is held in good standing in their state. If we allowed for license reciprocity, that Indiana electrician would need to show Ohio’s licensing authority his Indiana occupational license, and after receiving an Ohio-reciprocal license, would be allowed to practice his trade in Ohio.

Cutting through red tape will allow workers to use their skills, and will encourage businesses and entrepreneurs to move to Ohio. License reciprocity will bring more business and more income to our state. This is something that our office is excited to be researching and working on. If you have any questions, let me know.

-Jena Powell, State Representative