Gov. Phil Murphy

Bob Karp/The Record via USA TODAY NETWORK

Murphy Conditionally Vetoes Bill That Would Have Loosened Restrictions On N.J. Hair Braiders

August 28, 2018 - 12:57 pm

TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has conditionally vetoed a bill that would have lifted the licensing requirements for hair braiders.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported Tuesday, African hair braiders say theirs is a skill that is not taught in New Jersey beauty schools. Rather, it is passed down from generation to generation.

But Murphy still believes some formal training is necessary.

“Supposedly, these regulations are about health and safety, but we find that in the end, it’s often established cosmetologists and cosmetology schools that are actually lobbying for these,” said Brooke Fallon of the Institute for Justice, who is helping a coalition of hair braiders with the bill that would have spared them the costly and time-consuming process of getting a cosmetology license.

“Just to put things in perspective, 1,200 hours is nine times the amount of training that’s required for an EMT in New Jersey,” Fallon said.

Most braiders and their clients are African-American. In his conditional veto, Murphy said in order to create a stronger and fairer New Jersey, it is important to remove or reduce barriers to economic opportunity.

But he said it cannot be done at the expense of consumer protections.