One year after a small group of Broward tattooists launched a statewide effort to defeat what it believed to be deeply flawed legislation reforming the industry, a new bill -- drafted in concert with those same activists -- is close to becoming law. It may even be signed today during Gov. Charlie Crist's visit to Broward.
The campaign to defeat last year's tattoo reform bill started here on Juice, with this blog post. The Fort Lauderdale tattooist quoted in the post, Stevie Moon, objected to what he believed were heavy-handed reforms that would make licensure so difficult for tattooists that the legislation's effect would be to drive a large portion of the industry underground, leading to a black market where safety standards could create health risks for those getting tattooed.
Moon and his supporters rallied a group of tattooists across Florida who pledged their opposition to the legislation by South Broward Sen. Eleanor Sobel, who abandoned her bill, then redrafted it with help from Moon's new tattoo interest group. The new bill, which you can read here, makes getting a license much simpler while creating a series of health standards that ensure that tattooists and their clients are at low risk of infectious diseases.