KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Women’s Foundation today applauded the Missouri House of Representatives for its initial passage of House Bill 1500, which would allow hair braiders to earn a living without obtaining a cosmetology license.
“Hair braiding is a prime example of how some occupational licensing requirements can restrict economic opportunity and make it harder for women to get ahead,” said Wendy Doyle, Women’s Foundation President and CEO. “We commend Representative Shamed Dogan and Missouri House Speaker Richardson for moving quickly on this sensible legislation that will allow hair braiders to earn a living in Missouri without having to go through the unnecessary time and expense of obtaining a cosmetology license.”
Women’s Foundation research conducted in partnership with the University of Missouri Truman School of Public Policy has found that occupational licensing, while intended to protect the safety and well-being of the public, can often create unnecessary barriers for women entrepreneurs by restricting entry and re-entry into professions, reducing employment, and creating economic inequity.
This research has informed a number of potential solutions put forward by Women’s Foundation, including reducing or waiving fees, requiring a cost-benefit analysis before any new occupational licensing board is created and periodic reviews to determine if they are still necessary.
Other occupational licensing reform bills supported by the Women’s Foundation include: HB 1928, SB 677, SB 835, HB 1261, HB 1710 and HB 1719.