In 2018, the OBBA organized to fight Ohio HB 189 and SB 129. The bills were backed by powerful special interest organizations that stood to financially benefit from the bill, at the expense of hardworking barbers and beauty professionals. The OBBA united ordinary professionals from across the state to fight for their rights and protect our profession.
In spring of 2018, OBBA members began attending board meetings in Columbus each month to ensure that no further measures were passed without the awareness and approval of industry professionals. We closely watched the newly merged Cosmetology and Barber Board to ensure that all members adhered to Ohio Ethics Codes, reporting violations of those codes and successfully securing disciplinary action against board members who did not follow them.
Alongside monitoring the board, we successfully designed a legislative strategy to beat House Bill 189. HB-189, if passed, would have:
Caused Ohio cosmetologists to lose reciprocity with 48 other states
Placed an extra 5000 to 8000 dollar burden per new hire on salons when two-thirds of all salons and spas in the state of Ohio currently employ less than five people and operate on a profit margin of less than 10%
Put ½ of cosmetology education in the hands of salons rather than professional instructors, burdening small salons and independent practitioners
Disadvantaged female professionals, who own 61% of salons as opposed to just 30% of all private sector businesses
Resulted in fewer qualified licensees because small salons cannot afford to shoulder the financial burdens of education
Posed a potential risk to consumer safety through less educated licensees
The OBBA mobilized hundreds of professionals to prevent this bill from passing. We called and emailed every single Ohio House representative to urge them against supporting the bill, and we built relationships within the Ohio Legislature to prevent its passage. We also organized voter registration drives and phone banks including hundreds of OBBA members to build a grassroots network to oppose the bill's passage. Thanks to the tireless work of OBBA officials and the involvement of OBBA members, we defeated HB 189 and SB 129 in 2018 and defeated similar measures in 2019. We continue to keep a close eye on the state legislature and remain ready to spring into action to make your voice heard whenever it is required.
Even though we have won the fight against HB 189, we still remain committed to making your voice heard in the legislative process and have a legislative strategy consultant on call to address any new issues that may arise. We are recognized as a powerful, respected voice for beauty professionals across the state, and we are frequently called upon by state officials to weigh in on policy proposals. Right now, we are working with the Ohio Legislature and various administrative agencies to craft COVID-19 policies related to barbers and beauty professionals.
The OBBA keeps a close eye on the state government, but we know that our strength comes from our grassroots network of support. Is there something we haven't seen? Do you have information on a new initiative that we should be considering taking on? Is there something happening in the state government that will impact beauty professionals? Let us know! Use the form below to submit a "tip," and we will look into the issue!