Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tattoo You

Photo: The Honolulu Advertiser

Rep. John Mizuno wants to make it clear that the bill to deregulate tattoo artists, HB2283 was not the original intention of the bill that he introduced, and even he had grave concerns over the way the Senate version inserted the deregulation language. In a statement yesterday, Mizuno said:

"I had concerns with the changes to the bill that were recommended by the Department of Health, specifically repealing the tattoo licensure procedures and requirements, and allowing someone from out of state to simply register as a tattoo artist in Hawaii without oversight."

The original intent was to allow tattoo artists to participate in and practice at state trade shows. It was not meant to deregulate the industry which, in Rep. Mizuno's mind, has serious health and safety issues. Back in March, when the bill morphed into a repeal of license requirements, Mizuno told media: "You don't have as much oversight with just registration, and there's an unintended consequence that there may be unqualified artists practicing. So, where's the oversight?"

The Senate recommitted the bill back to the Ways and Means committee, essentially killing it for this year. Rep. Mizuno wants the Department of Health to work with him and the tattoo artists on another bill for 2009.


Peggy said...

As a spokesperson for the licensed tattooers in Hawaii I wish to thank Mr. Mizuno for his comments. We know he did not set out to create the morphed HB 2283 as it appeared on 4/08/08. That version of the bill was an abomination of the original intent. We respectfully send our thank you to the Senate for squashing the final version of the bill. We hope to work with our Health Dept., our contacts with the CDC, our representatives, senators and our licensed tattooers to make sure that Hawaii continues to be a ground breaking forerunner in keeping the public's health our main goal.


Rep. Mizuno said...

I appreciate the comments from Peggy and I'm glad to know that many of our licensed tattoo artists realize I did not support the changes made at the request of the Department of Health by the Senate. Jas and I look forward to working with the tattoo artists and the Department of Health on a good measure for 2009.


Tricia Allen said...


As a rsult of the press conference that was held on 4/7, a new organization of tattooists is forming, but such things take time. Immediately, a task force was formed to address the issue of tattoo licensing and regulation. Some very positive things have occured in just these last few days. I had a meeting with Rex Mitsunaga on Wed. 4/9 to identify areas where the tattoo community can assist in both easing the burden that his office is faced with, and in updating the process-- that is, both the actual exam, and the regulations. Today I met with Heather Lusk from the STD/HIV branch of DOH. Her office may be able to assist in a number of ways. I am sincerrely optimistic that together (ideally with the support of some of our legislators) we can find both immediate and long-term solutions to some of the problems at hand.


Rep. John Mizuno said...

I am really glad to see the response generated from the tattoo bill. Truly, the tattoo bill has brought more people to the table and I believe the artists, the department of health and legislators can work together to carefully craft legislation to address concerns of all stakeholders and yet provide our tattoo artist the ability to safely practice and display their trade in Hawaii.