Header, the Administration of the Honorable Lincoln C. Almond
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  2002 Signature
2002 Veto
2002 No Action

2001 Veto
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2000 Signature
2000 Veto
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1999 Signature
1999 Veto

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1998 Veto
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1997 Veto

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1996 Veto

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1995 Veto
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June 29, 1999


In accordance with the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws § 43-1-4, I am transmitting herewith, with my disapproval, 99-S-0367 Sub B, "An Act Relating to Health and Safety - Tattooing and Body Piercing."

This bill would require the Director of the Department of Health to promulgate rules and regulations which provide minimum requirements to be met by any person performing tattooing and/or body piercing upon any individual and for any establishment where tattooing or body piercing is performed. These rules and regulations pertaining to sanitation of premises and sterilization of instruments shall place emphasis on the prevention of disease. Furthermore, the bill allows for the tattooing and body piercing of a minor if the minor is accompanied by his or her parent or guardian, and the parent or guardian gives consent to the tattooing or body piercing.

I support regulating the practice of body piercing in the same manner that we regulate tattooing. This is an important public health matter that deserves regulatory attention. Unfortunately, the bill, perhaps inadvertently, relaxes the criminal prohibition on tattooing minors, which exists under current law. This bill would allow a minor, of any age, to now receive a tattoo with the consent of a parent or guardian. The decision to permanently mark one's own body with a tattoo is a highly personal matter which mature individuals have the right to decide for themselves. I cannot support this legislation which could allow a child to be indelibly marked with a tattoo based solely on the wishes, or possibly whim, of a parent or guardian.

For the foregoing reasons, I disapprove of this legislation and respectfully urge your support of this veto.


Lincoln Almond