• Swamp Watch

Does Cosmetology Board Really Need More Money?

Updated: Aug 4

Board claims to be running a deficit, but the numbers don't add up

We've previously discussed the lawsuit-plagued Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology seeking a 40% increase in their annual licensing fees, after 2 failed efforts to do so in the last 5 years.

This year, the bill passed out of the House Commerce Committee without objection, after testimony from the Board's Executive Director Steve Young about the allegedly dire financial straights the board is in- running a $100,000 deficit according to Executive Director Steve Young.

But, is the Board really in such dire need of squeezing more money out of its (typically) low-income licensees? The numbers tell a much different story than what Young presented in Committee.

In the last fiscal year, the Board brought in $1,971,914- among the most of Louisiana's boards that license low income occupations. In that same fiscal year, the Board reported expenditures of $1,658,355- a surplus of over $300,000. 78% of the Board's expenditures went to salary and benefits for its 23 employees. Additionally, the Board reported an unreserved fund balance of nearly $1,000,000.

Yet, the Board is telling legislators a story of a dire financial situation, one that their self-reported numbers simply do not show. For a Board with a long record of using its resources to go after licensees and getting involved in costly lawsuits, we have to wonder if they aren't being entirely honest with legislators about their finances, while seeking more funding to defend itself in their lawsuits.

Sign up here to receive future stories direct to your inbox. You can also follow us on Facebook & Twitter.