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Tattoo regulation bill advances

ST. PAUL - Tattoo artists and those who conduct body piercings would be regulated under a bill that Monday gained a Senate committee's support.

"Tattooing is one of the fastest growing businesses in the United States today," Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon, DFL-Duluth, said before the Senate Health, Housing and Family Security Committee passed her regulatory bill on a voice vote.

Prettner Solon said that anyone receiving a tattoo or piercing should assume the work is safe.

"In Minnesota, there is no regulation of tattooing," she said.

Her bill requires that all tattoo and piercing businesses have a Health Department-issued license. Temporary permits for dong their work at events also would be available.

Tattoo artists would be required to receive training.

Prettner Solon said there are more rules regulating hair cutting than tattooing.

Ryan Welles, a former Achorsend Tattoo employee in Duluth, said some local governments do regulate tattoo work, driving tattoo artists to unregulated communities.

Blood center officials said they like the bill because it would allow more people donate blood. Rules require people who have received tattoos to not donate for a year after the procedure, unless tattoos were given in a state-regulated parlor.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.