One bill, House Bill 3409, not introduced by OHLA that proposes to exempt "natural hair care" from the educational requirements of hair design and barbering has generated support for and against the bill.
At the direction of the Governor's Office, OHLA has been careful to be neutral on the bill.
"It may appear strange that we are neutral on HB 3409, but we are not in the policy-making position right now, the Legislature is," says OHLA Policy Analyst Randy Harnisch. "Our role is to explain to the Legislature what the bill does, and to identify how the agency and Board of Cosmetology would implement the bill if it passes into law."
Some, such as the Urban League of Portland and the Cascade Policy Institute, are for the bill, saying it doesn't make sense for natural hair care practitioners to take the full education and training required for hair design or barbering. Others, such as cosmetology school owners and other industry stakeholders, are against the bill, saying it requires no educational requirements for natural hair care, thus weakening current consumer protections.
"We are encouraging the industry and other interested stakeholders to take the opportunity to voice their concerns," adds Harnisch. "That's what the legislative process is all about."