Originally created 12/15/04

Braid bill unravels

Chalk up another example of level-headed leadership from South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

Sanford recently vetoed a bill that would have required hair braiders to undergo 60 hours of cosmetology training. His own words frame the issue best: "It's utterly ridiculous for us as a state to say that you only need eight hours of training to carry a concealed handgun, but for some reason you need 60 hours of training to braid hair."

Many cosmetologists supported the training, most likely because they didn't want to see untrained braiders - many of whom ply their trade in their homes - make money by offering a service for which cosmetologists spent money to be trained, then more money to rent or buy their own beauty shops.

But Sanford wisely recognized that approving the bill would erect a barrier to economic development in a state where barriers need to be coming down.

The braiding requirement actually took up only a portion of a larger pharmacy bill, the passage of which would make it easier for South Carolinians to transfer prescriptions. With our nation's population growing grayer, that's a bill that needs to be passed.

But the holdup of the bill came from the braiding language, so Sanford has sent the bill back to the General Assembly so legislators can, as it were, snip off the braids. Let's hope every politician in the Statehouse comes to work next month with a pair of scissors.

Holding up a worthy pharmacy bill just to sneak through some narrowly scoped special-interest legislative rider is as twisted as the braids the rider attempted to legislate.


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