The general purpose is to legislate the safety of all establishments engaged in these practices. All artists must be blood-borne pathogen and cross-contamination certified. This is, of course, a good thing. Cleanliness and sterilization are crucial in the tattoo environment. I myself have been certified from the beginning. Most tattoo artists are. The lowly scratcher, however, is not.
A scratcher is someone who does not know how to tattoo properly, nor are they talented artists in general. Typically they tattoo out of their kitchen or living room, thought many, many scratchers own or have owned and operated their own establishments. I personally know of a few. It is a potentially dangerous practice. The aim of the new state law is to try to eliminate, and even punish these people.
It won't work.
It will most likely make the problem worse. Just push it a little further underground. Make it more taboo, thus more desirable in some circles.
Another danger of shelling-out $1000 to get a tattooing license is that there are many holier than thou tattooists that will feel as if they are "official," so to speak. Simply obtaining a license won't mean a damn thing, really. There will be brilliant tattoo artists with no license, and horseshit tattooists with one. It can make things more complicated. Government legislating talent, so to speak. Regardless, it's the law, and I am in the process of obtaining my license. I have to. I have previously taken the right steps in this profession, and this is one I will be forced to take.
...but back to the 'holier than thou' tattooists for a moment.
This industry is full of them. It's also full of some exceptional, very talented people who are devoted to this art. However, it seems many tattooists feel as if they were blessed by the tattoo fairy and that only their opinion matters when it comes to the subject of body art. These people are idiots, of course, and none of us real artists take them seriously. They are akin to the scratcher. The holier than thou, fairy-blessed tattooist in the shop is just as bad as the scratcher in every way. An annoyance, and a danger to the beauty and integrity of the industry itself. So, scratchers and holys; do the rest of us real artists a favor and stop what you're doing. You are not artists. Tattooing does not automatically make you cool. If not for you, I wouldn't have to be paying to "prove" my professionalism. Talent speaks for itself, and as far as I'm concerned, you owe me money.