Montana Standardizes Licensing Board Organization

The Montana legislature adopted House Bill 87 (HB 87), which revises licensing board laws across many professions, including esthetics. Instead of each state licensing board having its own law, HB 87 essentially creates one general law for all boards to follow to unify board standards. The bill explains a board’s function and outlines appointment terms and qualifications, board meetings, and member compensation. Some board requirements and qualifications remain the same for the Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists, while others are new. ASCP breaks down HB 87 for you below.

Board Function
A licensing board’s primary purpose is to regulate a profession to benefit public health, safety, and welfare. Regulated professions are often those that require specialized skills, training, and competency standards, such as esthetics.

Board Appointments, Terms, Qualifications
The governor of Montana will appoint board members with consent from the senate for a four-year term. In the event a board member steps down and a new board member fills the vacancy, the new board member will serve the remaining time of the unexpired term. Board member terms begin on July 1 and are staggered. A member may serve two consecutive full terms.

The governor can remove board members with reasonable cause. This includes documented misconduct, incompetence, or neglect of duty. A person removed from a board by the governor may request reconsideration of the removal.

Each board must consist of professional and public members. Each professional member of a board, while serving as a board member, must be:

  • A resident of Montana
  • At least 18 years old
  • Currently practicing skin care
  • An active license holder in Montana for at least one year before board appointment and who has no disciplinary action against their license

Each board member must remain eligible to serve on the board by avoiding and disclosing conflicts of interest or relationships that would interfere with the board’s mission to protect the public. A board member cannot have a financial interest in continuing education requirements. Each board member must annually complete coursework or training that addresses relevant regulatory issues, including roles of the board and board members, conflicts of interest, competition, administrative procedures, enforcement, and immunity.

Board Organization, Meetings, Compensation
The board must annually elect a presiding officer and a vice presiding officer. The presiding officer must manage all meetings. The presiding officer can create board committees to further address board business and can designate board members as committee members. A presiding officer cannot serve more than four consecutive one-year terms.

The board must meet at least once annually to conduct business. A majority of the board membership is considered a quorum to conduct business. Members of the board are entitled to compensation and travel expenses.

Board of Barbers and Cosmetologist Members
The board will consist of nine members:

  • Two barbers
  • Two cosmetologists
  • One esthetician
  • One manicurist
  • Two members who are affiliated with a school
  • One public member; public members cannot be:
    • The spouse, parent, or child of a current or former licensee of the board
    • A person who currently, or within three years before appointment, has any financial interest in skin care or engages in any related activity related to the practice

Date effective: July 1, 2023.

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