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The Utah Senate was full of chuckles and wisecracks Friday as members debated a bill allowing barbers to give a brief neck massage after a haircut.
Bill sponsor Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said it is customary for "old-school barbers" to massage their clients after a cut, either by hand or with a mechanical massager.
But he had been contacted by licensed massage therapists, he said, who objected to the practice, which is not explicitly permitted under a current barber's license.
"This bill is a deregulation that clarifies that a barber, at the end of their haircut, can give that little massage," Weiler said.
The bill led to roughly 15 minutes of semi-serious debate, due in large part to an amendment that would have capped the duration of barber massages at two minutes.
"I think two minutes and 30 seconds is probably more reasonable," said Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork.
"I've been getting a massage all morning from my phone," said Sen. Gregg Buxton, R-Roy.
Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Provo, ultimately moved that the time-limit language be struck from the bill, which the chamber approved.
"This is an absurdity that we're having to debate," Bramble said. "But the idea of trying to enforce a two-minute timeline makes the absurdity even more."
Senators voted 27-0 for SB172, which requires an additional Senate vote before moving to the House.