In New Jersey, nothing is easy. You have to have a license to work as a court reporter, harness race driver, manicurist, librarian, hairstylist and many other jobs. Add to that list dog groomer if legislation becomes law.

On Monday the Pet Grooming Licensing Act was unanimously passed in an Assembly committee hearing. There's a companion bill in the Senate. Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle first pushed for this law in 2014 but it's been given new life by media reports of dogs dying at PetSmart grooming salons. It would set up a Pet Groomers Advisory Committee within the Department of Consumer Affairs, require an exam be passed for groomers to get their license, and the groomer would need to be at least 18 years old and "be of good moral character."

Because you know, when you're going to shave a dog and express its anal glands, we need to know your moral compass is intact.

Any profession or occupation is going to have its bad apples. I'm not convinced government involvement is going to solve this. Plus it will be a financial burden to all the mostly competent pet groomers in New Jersey. I also question what the qualifications will be of oversight committee people. Will they have any actual experience themselves? Or will this just be more typical New Jersey patronage jobs?

Also, that "moral character" business. What's the litmus test for that exactly? Who's the arbiter of who is moral enough to clip a dogs nails? New Jersey government once again has decided it is an expert in all things. In this case I'd say they're more like a hack of all trades and master of none.

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