Republican governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, saw a law preventing a young cosmetology student from helping homeless veterans by trimming their hair so they could be better applicants for jobs, and decided to do something about it.
Juan Carlos Montes de Oca, a cosmetology student from Tucson, volunteered at Camp Bravo, where homeless veterans congregate, to give the veterans haircuts. As Camp Bravo’s director said, “He’s part of the family here.”
Then the state cosmetology board fired off a letter to Montes de Oca to cease and desist, because he had not yet graduated from cosmetology school and was operating without a license. He was told to appear in court in Phoenix.
As The Daily Signal reports:
The Arizona Capitol Times reported a state law requires 1,000 hours of training at a state-licensed school in order to style hair. State Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, a Republican, said that cosmetology licenses can cost up to $10,000, adding that not holding one does not pose a public health or safety issues since blow-drying hair does not require scissors or use of chemicals or dyes.
Ducey said, “We want to hold Juan Carlos out as a hero, as someone who’s making a positive difference in our community. Why would you use the power of the government to stop his career and fine him? Had we not been, had we not been able to make some of the cultural changes that we hope to make in the next year and a half, that kind of thing goes on all the time in government, and luckily, that one came to our attention.”
On Tuesday, Ducey pointed out in his State of the State address that a cosmetology license requires “25 weeks [of training], more than an EMT, certified nursing assistant or truck driver.” Ducey referred to the cosmetology board as “bullies"; he is backing a bill from Ugenti-Rita that would make it easier to obtain a license.
During his address on Tuesday, Ducey addressed Montes de Oca, saying, “Juan Carlos, you go ahead and keep cutting hair and keep doing the right thing.”