Thanks to a Goldwater Institute lawsuit and the courage of a local entrepreneur, the Arizona Board of Cosmetology has gotten a makeover.
The Board went after cancer survivor Lauren Boice’s small business, threatening to shut her down. Lauren started her business, Angels on Earth Home Beauty, after witnessing firsthand how beauty services lifted the spirits of homebound patients. Her unique business connects the elderly, sick, and terminally ill, with licensed cosmetologists who can perform haircuts, manicures, or massages right in clients’ homes. Lauren’s services have been in high demand.
But the Board of Cosmetology had its own demands. It told Lauren it would regulate her phone business as if it were a beauty salon. The Board forced Lauren – who does not practice cosmetology – to get licensed and open a physical salon, even though her homebound clients would never visit it.
The Goldwater Institute took Lauren’s fight to court to defend her constitutional right to earn a living and help her sick clients. After a 16-month legal battle, the Board agreed to a binding settlement, assuring it would never regulate Lauren or other businesses like hers.
This is a great victory for freedom. Thanks to this settlement, entrepreneurs like Lauren Boice can focus on serving their clients rather than navigating the Board’s labyrinth of red tape.
But many still find themselves at the mercy of regulatory boards that stifle innovation, deprive entrepreneurs like Lauren of their right to earn a living, and punish those who provide services to the public.
Lauren spent years battling the cosmetology board in and out of court just to arrive at the common-sense conclusion that a cosmetology board doesn’t have the power to regulate a phone dispatch business. When regulators overstep their boundaries, they stall businesses and waste resources. Perhaps it’s time for the legislature to make over other bureaucracies.
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