The Minnesota Salon & Spa Professional Association (MNSSPA) is the sole recognized voice at the Minnesota State Capitol pertaining to all matters concerning the practice of cosmetology. Our advocacy dates back to our creation in 1924 as a state association, and we have consistently been at the legislative forefront to improve and advance the profession of cosmetology. This also includes direct involvement with key regulatory agencies such as the Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners (BCE).

Our past and current actions include:

• The creation of the BCE, which transferred state regulation of cosmetology from a woefully ineffective Department of Commerce division to a more responsive and appropriately staffed independent state board that includes licensed cosmetology representatives.

• The enactment of continuing education requirements for practitioners. MNSSPA continuously works to maintain this program's integrity in statute to ensure its effectiveness. This includes the expansion of required credits from four hours initially to eight hours beginning in 2017 during a licensee's three-year license cycle, as well as instituting safeguards to ensure all providers abide by the law.

• Rejection of legislation seeking to make cosmetology services subject to the state sales tax.

• Rejection of a 2014 proposed practitioner license fee increase over twice the current rate. A more reasonable increase limited to only $35 (less than $12 annually) was successfully negotiated.

• Ongoing negotiations over the past three years with the BCE regarding updated proposed rules. MNSSPA, along with input from our members, was able to convince the BCE to remove or significantly alter language we identified as problematic before the final version was recently posted for final comment. These sweeping new rules will become effective later in 2016.

• Separate additional rules governing advance practice aestheticians as well as mobile salons are anticipated to be drafted by the BCE in the near future requiring our involvement as well.

• Rejection of legislation that would have allowed any salon to offer an apprenticeship program to be an alternative to school in obtaining a future practitioner license. Schools of cosmetology are best suited to offer a well rounded education concerning all disciplines. An apprenticeship program after one graduates from cosmetology school may have merit, but not prior as a total substitute.

• Responded to minimize total deregulation of specific cosmetology related services such as African hair braiding and eyelash extension services. As an alternative to complete deregulation and due to MNSSPA intervention, hair braiders must pay an annual registration fee with the BCE and receive 30 hours of instruction. Similarly, eyelash extension technicians must register as a licensed limited practitioner specific to this service with 14 hours of instruction, as well as continuing education and passing a state exam. MNSSPA has successfully fought off past attempts at complete industry deregulation dating back to the 1980s.

• MNSSPA organizes an annual "Day on the Hill" initiative that brings cosmetologists to Capitol Hill in Saint Paul to meet and interact with key legislators and policy makers during the legislative session. MNSPPA also regularly communicates to members and other key interest groups to inform, educate, and if need be, encourage their personal calls to directly engage their lawmakers with phone calls or written letters as situations may require. This "grassroots" lobbying component is highly effective but reserved only for special circumstances to ensure its full impact.
MNSSPA has demonstrated for decades that it is prepared and qualified to represent YOU!

Although the entire industry benefits from our lobbying efforts, it is sustained entirely as part of membership in MNSSPA. Your voice can only be heard if you join us and become part of the effort to ensure our continued effectiveness and success. It’s what’s best for your career, your business, and our industry overall.