New law makes it easier on barbers

GREEN BAY, Wis. - A new law makes it easier for licensed cosmetologists from other states to work in Wisconsin.

Governor Scott Walker signed the bill into law earlier this week.  This meant a lot for a Green Bay barber, whose client list includes Packers players.

Albert Walker officially opened the doors to his new barber shop, Imago Dei The Barber Lounge in Green Bay this past summer.

Wisconsin laws at the time made it very difficult to open at 211 N. Broadway.

"A lot of great things are going to change here in Wisconsin," said Walker.

Previously Walker would have had to employ a manger to pay him as a barber and run his business or he would have had to have a mangers license.

Two new bills signed into law by Governor Walker modified requirements for professions like cosmetologists and barbers.

 "It'll make it easier for them to gain entry into these professions," said Badger Institute VP, Michael Jahr.

According to Jahr, Badger Institute, which does research on public policy, shared stories of cosmetologists and barbers in Wisconsin like Walker.  He said this helped legislators understand the need for change.

"They passed about 5 or 6 reforms in two bills," he said.

Jahr said cosmetologists and barbers like Walker would only need a relevant license in order to run their own business.

"As a freshly new graduate, I can actually go out and open a shop if I really wanted to," said MJ Vecchie, barber.

An applicant for a license will also no longer have to have 4,000 hours of experience.

Under the law, professionals can also travel to clients and do not have to maintain continuing education hours.

"Just opened a lot of opportunities for all of us," said Jarrell Ramey, barber.

Walker said support from clients like Packers player Mike Daniels, helped attract public attention to his concerns.

"The chair that I'm sitting in wouldn't exist if he hadn't supplied it for me,” said Walker.  “That was his donation saying ‘I believe in you.  I trust in what you do and I'm excited to see what you're going to do in the community’."

Packers player Chris Odom told NBC26 he moved to Green Bay in September and was looking for a barber and several teammates referred Walker.  

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