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Congressman Issa Visits El Cajon Cosmetology School, Discusses Impact of State Licensure Backlog

March 6, 2021

Continues Call for Governor Newsom to Act


Washington, DC — Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50) visited El Cajon’s Bellus Academy, a beauty and wellness educational facility, to meet with students about the personal hardship created by the State of California’s failure to offer cosmetology license testing.

Issa stated, “The students I met with today said they are ready to get to work. They invested in their education, made a commitment to learn the trade, and are now prepared for their final state exam. But, the State of California has failed them. The state shut down cosmetology testing due to COVID, and then sat on their hands instead of developing temporary solutions.

I am calling on Governor Newsom to exhibit leadership and fix this problem right away. Other states have developed solutions — so there are a variety of successful models to potentially replicate. 7,000 students await an answer and the ability to earn the living they have trained for.”

On March 4, Congressman Issa requested immediate action by Governor Gavin Newsom.  Read the full letter here.

The Bellus Academy of El Cajon provides training in cosmetology, barbering, esthetics, and make-up artistry. Currently, 484 of its graduates are awaiting an opportunity to take the state licensing test. It is one of three cosmetology schools in the 50th Congressional District.

The state ended in-person licensing exams in March 2020. Throughout the course of the state’s COVID lockdown, students were promised that tests would resume. There is now a backlog of 7,000 graduates waiting for exams that are now being offered at half capacity at several locations in the State.