JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Rep. Shamed Dogan watched in 2017 as the bill he sponsored fell to the wayside of the Senate in 2017, despite his efforts to move the Hair Braiding Freedom Act through his chamber with an impressive 137-10 vote.
Just days into the 2018 legislative session and Dogan is back at it again, and this time, his bill is getting some expedited treatment, as it was referred and passed through two committees on Monday.
HB 1500, virtually identical to Dogan’s HB 230 from 2017, seeks to allow hair braiders to do their work without requiring a cosmetology license, and instead simply requiring them to register with the State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners.
“This bill has gone through the ringer,” Rep. Dogan told his colleagues on Monday, noting that the same committee had spent hours on the bill in the previous session. He explained that it was the same bill, and shared with his fellow House members his thoughts on how the bill was an “important step for economic freedom.”
The House Committee on Professional Registration and Licensing spent far less time on the bill Monday afternoon, roughly an hour on the issue.
Only a handful of members testified on the bill, most noting that their stance was similar to that of last year.
However, the committee did attach two amendments to the bill before signing off on the legislation.
An amendment by Rep. DaRon McGee added “human trafficking” to the list of offenses that would bar an applicant from receiving a license to practice, while Rep. Diane Franklin moved to add a video component in addition to a brochure to provide information on disease and conditions that applicants needed to learn to identify to pass the required test.
The committee voted the bill do-pass with a 9-0 vote, where it then went to the House Rules Committee on Administrative Oversight where the bill advanced again with an 11-1 vote.
The bill now sits on the perfection calendar in the House.
Benjamin Peters was a reporter for The Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine and also produced the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined The Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield.