Estheticians, blindsided by Rep. Villio’s bill to require an additional 250 hours of schoolwork, gear up to actively oppose her effort in Senate Commerce Committee.


At the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology meeting of Monday, May 3, 2021, Executive Director Steve Young (pictured above) has to emphasize to Chairman Edwin Neill that there is “no such thing” as a pure esthetics school and that any school needs to be a cosmetology school which may merely have a focus on esthetics.

It’s been quite some time since we last reported on the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology (LSBC – note if anyone tries to access that website during any weekend period, it won’t function as the Board’s IT chief still has concerns over “hacks” — never mind that the rest of America and world have functional websites on both weekdays OR weekends).

We have always taken the approach that, if our phone isn’t ringing or we’re not receiving email complaints about the Board’s actions, everyone must be somewhat content (or perhaps more appropriately, too fearful of retribution) to justify reaching out to us.

That changed about 10 days ago when a number of Louisiana estheticians began calling, emailing, and texting to us their extreme frustration concerning HB-327 (the Legislature apparently IS capable of operating a website on weekdays OR weekends, so feel free to click on that link anytime!) by Rep. Deborah Villio (R-Kenner).  Villio succeeded Rep. Julie Stokes, who opted not to seek re-election in 2019.  Her bill, if it becomes law, would require an individual seeking to specialize in the practice of esthetics to take an additional 250 hours of coursework (in addition to the 750 already required) in order to tout an esthetics specialization (i.e. be an “advanced” esthetician).

There was a huge backlash among estheticians.  Consequently, the bill was amended so that all estheticians having a license on or before April 30, 2022 are grandfathered and exempt from the requirement to take the additional 250 hours.  Hence, one of the biggest losers of passage of this bill would appear to be juniors in high school because they will graduate in May of 2022.

The amended bill sure does beg the following question:  If the LSBC is so concerned about public health and safety, which is ostensibly the Board’s mission (trust us, they’re not — they’re concerned ONLY about maximizing revenues for cosmetology schools by loading students down with more and more hours of instruction, especially when the tuition for such coursework is covered with Federal funds as is stated to be the case for these 250 additional hours), then why are existing estheticians grandfathered and exempt from the bill’s requirements? 

Apparently, it’s just fine if existing estheticians continue to practice without this knowledge that only newly-minted estheticians are deemed to need to possess.  We can only surmise that the LSBC is of the belief that the public is welcome to still be subjected to the harm the existing estheticians may inflict upon it from not having this knowledge of “advanced” esthetics being required of the new kids on the block!

As everyone knows, we love videos because we strongly believe, whenever possible, in letting Louisiana citizens tell their own stories (i.e. letting them “Sound Off”).  Three estheticians who are not happy at all with Villio’s legislation, which had already passed the House Commerce Committee without any of them having the slightest clue the bill had even been proposed, did magnificent jobs of “sounding off” before, during, and after the LSBC meeting of Monday, May 3, 2021.  Let’s take a look:

 
Estheticians Christy Mackiewicz, Kristen Ruel, and Lauren Prats literally sound off to the LSBC on Monday, May 3, 2021.


Mackiewicz, Ruel, and Prats spend just a few minutes after the LSBC meeting to state the degree, if any, to which the amendments allay their concerns regarding the bill.


Prats self-produced this video slamming Villio and others over this bill.

Villio states at the outset of the third video above (and we want to make certain to quote her VERBATIM!!!):  “House Bill 327 is, in all seriousness, a public protection bill.”

WOW!!  Villio may be the most out-to-lunch, out-of-touch Legislator in the ENTIRE Louisiana Legislature!  Let’s take just a few moments to provide highlights of just how concerned with “public protection” the fine folks at the LSBC are (we could provide plenty more, but these will suffice for purposes of this feature):

Historical Corruption and Job Obstruction Acts by Louisiana Cosmetology Board:

  1. Massive legal fees to resolve Vietnamese discrimination litigation during which Federal Judge Brian Jackson openly stated, “Constitutional rights were clearly violated.”  [Additional reference:  former Congressman Joseph Cao lambasts the Cosmetology Board for recklessly disregarding search and seizure rights entailing Vietnamese manicurists].

 

  1. More massive legal fees entailing litigation regarding eyebrow threaders.

 

  1. For two consecutive years, thwarting Rep. Julie Emerson’s initiatives to permit hair braiders to practice with no license and, in fact, openly cheering Sen. Regina Barrow’s initiative to impose MORE licensing requirements on hair braiders! They did this notwithstanding the fact that the governor who appointed them, Gov. John Bel Edwards, openly supported Emerson’s initiative!

 

  1. A Board employee, Winn Johnson, routinely selling answers to the cosmetology licensing exam for $500/pop.

 

  1. Closing down Jennifer Menard’s mobile salon, which was a huge benefit for residents of assisted living facilities for obtaining hairstyling.

 

  1. Having done absolutely NOTHING about licensed instructor Kevin Martin’s permitting unauthorized “observers” on to a public school campus in Lafayette Parish (with it having been stated these unauthorized “observers” may have been charged $5,000 “cash under the table” in exchange for him allowing them to “observe” these courses and take the cosmetology licensing examination).

 

We feel KLFY’s follow-up feature is worthy of repeat at this time:

 


KLFY feature of May 22, 2018.  CLICK HERE to view the actual letter sent by Lafayette Parish District Attorney Keith Stutes to Burns.

Now, entailing KLFY showing up at Martin’s school and thereafter Attorney General Jeff Landry announcing to KLFY that his office was “launching an investigation,” (see opening seconds of above video and the caption on the screen shot above), our source for the feature was nothing short of ecstatic.  We quickly cautioned that source, however, that, “Yes, and Landry can very easily close the investigation five minutes after the camera crew leaves.”

One of our sources in Landry’s office telephoned us about seven months later and stated, “Mr. Burns, I feel someone owes it to you to let you know that we never conducted any investigation.”

Given the absolute mockery Landry has made of the AG’s Office and the absolute total joke it is now viewed as by Louisiana citizens with even a few functioning brain cells, we were by no means surprised.  Furthermore, being blunt, we believe Landry’s much-anticipated run for Louisiana Governor in 2023 is doomed from the outset due to actions like the one we just stated (and we’ve heard from TONS of folk frustrated by incidents like what Landry did with us)!  That’s to say nothing of Landry’s other recent well-publicized problems which we won’t even bother with repeating on this feature.

Most folk who’ve followed this blog for an extended period already know what our sentiments were toward former Rep. Julie Stokes.  Her lack of fiscal conservatism and lack of any desire to control an out-of-control state budget, combined with some very dogmatic ideas she had on tax reform, in our humble opinion, contributed to what she had to assess as an  utterly embarrassing 5th place showing in a Special Election for Secretary of State.

How was anybody to know that her successor, Rep. Villio, would cause some conservatives, and that certainly includes us at Sound Off Louisiana, to be willing to get down on our hands and knees and beg for Stokes to come back over her clearly-out-to-lunch, TOTALLY out-of-touch successor, Deborah Villio?  We feel certain she’ll have strong opposition in 2023 based on what we’ve seen so far!  To say that she is an absolute unmitigated disaster is a huge understatement!

In the meantime, we’ll see how she and her initiative fare in Senate Committee, where we fully anticipate a very different forum to include very stiff opposition to this bill, to be in the offing.  If this piece of absolute garbage legislation manages to pass and get signed into law, God help us all who strive to make Louisiana a business-friendly state!

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