Key Issues

The Florida Association of Cosmetology and Technical Schools (FACTS) hired Monica Rodriguez early this session to represent their interests in Tallahassee. Monica started the session by quickly lobbying against and killing two bills, HB 175 by Representative Thompson and its Senate counterpart, SB 544 by Senator Joyner. These bills aimed to require barber students to complete an internship outside of their teaching school. HB 175 was never heard in its first committee and while SB 544 passed one committee early on, it was never heard in the Senate Higher Education Committee, its second stop.

On March 11, the Business and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee filed BCA-1 and BCA-2, proposed committee bills aimed at deregulating 60 professions and reducing the requirements for many others. Included in this deregulation were barbers, hair braiders, hair wrappers, body wrappers, manicurists, pedicurists and nail extensions. Monica immediately reached out to the Committee Chair, Representative Bovo and committee members and when these PCBs were filed as HB 5005 and 5007, Barbers and Nail Technicians had been removed. The new House Bill still deregulated Hair Braiders, Hair Wrappers and Body Wrappers as well as shortened the time required to renew a delinquent license.

Monica continued to work against this bill through the remainder of the process. The bills were priorities of House Leadership but had no Senate companion so they were not heard by Senate committees. The House passed the bill and when the Senate took it out of messages, they deleted the entirety of the bill and forced the bill to be a conference issue, an issue that would be negotiated towards the end of Legislative Session. Out of budget conference, the deregulation bills became "conforming bills", or bills normally used to state how the budget should be spent but this year included many non-budget, policy issues. A conforming bill had never been voted down before this year.

Working with a coalition representing Interior Designers, Mold Inspectors, Building Officials, Electrical Contractors, and Universities and Community Colleges, Monica and her associates lobbied the Senate to turn against this bill. Besides the bad policy the bills contained, the process in which the House tried to pass them stood in contrast to what the very traditional Senate believed in. HB 5005 was voted down on the floor 6-32 and 5007 was voted down 18-21.

But, as this year ends and 2012 begins we anticipate the issue of deregulation coming up again. Therefore, we are asking for your support in our efforts to quash deregulation and join us with a strong representation for the State of Florida.

For more information on how to get involved call (855) 55 FACTS or email info@facts-edu.org.

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