TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FNN) – State Representative Daisy Morales (D-Orlando)’s Barber Services bill (HB 855) heads for the House floor with bipartisan support after passing through its final committee, the House Commerce Committee, in a 24-0 vote Tuesday.
The bill authorizes barbers to shampoo, cut, or arrange hair in locations other than their registered barbershop without specified arrangements. It takes away unnecessary regulations on barbers, allowing them to continue earning revenue with the freedom to travel to their customers. Rep. Morales noted that, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing some to lose their ability to travel, this bill also allows barbers to serve those residents who can’t travel to their brick-and-mortar locations as they previously would.
Vice Chair Brad Drake called on the “Bald Caucus” to support Morales’s Barber Services Bill
The committee members had a little fun during the debate portion of the hearing. Vice Chair Brad Drake aimed a bald joke at Chair Blaise Ingoglia (R-Hernando) and Representatives Rene Plascencia (R-Brevard), Tom Fabricio (R-Broward, Miami-Dade), and Nick DeCiglie (R-Pinellas). “Representative Morales, have you determined that a conflict of interest would exist in voting for this bill for Chair Ingoglia, [Representatives] Plascencia, Fabricio, and DeCiglie?” Drake asked.
The room erupted in laughter. “That’s a good question, thank you for asking,” Morales quipped. “I’ll reply back when I get an answer.” The joke carried for the remainder of the debate portion of the hearing.
When the jokes subsided, Chair Ingoglia praised Morales. “In all seriousness, I want to thank you for this bill. This is an awesome bill,” said Chair Ingoglia. “One of the things that’s near and dear to my heart is de-regging and opening up opportunities for people to earn money.”
“I’m thankful and excited that this bill is heading to the House floor for a final vote,” said Morales. “This is another step in putting small businesses first and ensuring that they survive the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a win-win—both for the barbers to keep earning revenue and for the people who want to get their hair cut, but can’t get to a barber.”
State Senator Linda Stewart sponsored Senate Bill 1176, HB 855’s companion bill, which also passed the Senate Regulated Industries Committee Tuesday and heads to the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee next.