Cuomo OKs repeal of 'archaic' NY law banning barbers from cutting hair on Sundays – The Citizen

Barber Michael Galbato cuts Jon Wilcox’s hair at his shop on William Street in 2017 in Auburn.
An obscure New York law prohibited barbers from performing their duties on Sundays. 
Until now. 
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday signed legislation to repeal the section of New York’s business law that made it illegal for barbers to engage in “shaving, hair cutting or other work of a barber on the first day of the week.” 
Barbering on Sunday was considered a misdemeanor. For a first offense, the barber would be fined no more than $5. Repeat offenses would result in fines of between $10 to $25, a jail sentence of 10 to 25 days, or both. 
But the law was rarely enforced. State Sen. Joe Griffo and Assemblyman Billy Jones introduced legislation to repeal the language prohibiting barbering on Sundays. It received unanimous support in the state Legislature. 
“Barbershops and salons, like all small businesses, have faced significant, unprecedented and strenuous challenges during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Griffo, a Rome Republican. “By removing outdated and unnecessary laws such as this, these businesses will be provided with an additional opportunity to recover financially as we work to rebuild our local and state economies.” 
Jones, D-Plattsburgh, agrees with Griffo’s stance that the repeal will help barbers and salons affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. While acknowledging that the barbering prohibition was loosely enforced, he said the decision to open on Sundays is now left to business owners, not the state. 
With Cuomo’s signature, the repeal takes effect immediately. 
“This is the very definition of an archaic and meaningless law that makes little to no sense in the 21st century,” Cuomo said. “While not routinely enforced, I’m more than happy to sign this repeal into law and allow these businesses to determine what days they choose to operate.” 
Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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I have been The Citizen’s online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I’m the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at
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Barber Michael Galbato cuts Jon Wilcox’s hair at his shop on William Street in 2017 in Auburn.
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