Last week, Senate Bill 5326 was introduce. If passed, it would make booth renting illegal for Cosmetologist and Hair Designers, while excluding licensed barbers. If you would like to get a summary of the bill, here is the (link).
Many of you asked me to inform you when the Public Hearing is scheduled.
As of last night, I received confirmation that it is officially scheduled for Monday, January 28th @ 10:00 AM in the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee. The legislative calendar has not been updated yet, but should be within the next two days.
If this is your first hearing, you will want to keep a few things in mind:
- Parking: there is limited parking lot and street parking. It’s best to carpool or do a rideshare to get directly to the capital. If you lucky enough to make it in the lot, I would over-estimate your time … from personal experience, it’s distracting when testifying to think about parking in the back of your mind.
- Preparation: If you are planning on testifying, make sure you are prepared. You will have limited time to get your message across, and the Committee will not be friendly to rambling. It’s best to ensure that you have notes to keep your comments direct. My personal rule of thumb: your message should be effectively communicated within 2-3 minutes. That may not feel like a lot of time, but if prepared, that should be an ample period to communicate who you are, your message, and your perspective.
- Planning: If you are part of a group, you want to organize your testimony so points are not overly duplicated. I recognize that there are commonalities, but you will want to ensure that the committee is hearing many perspectives.
- Punctuality: Be punctual and sign in: sign in is typically done electronically at a kiosk either in or outside the hearing room. You are also be able to sign in electronically through the website or your phone via this (link). You’ll be asked if you are (pro/con) and if you would like to testify. You don’t have to testify, but since you made it down there, I would encourage you to make your presence and voice heard.
- Testifying: When giving your remarks, introducing yourself to the chair and committee members and stating your position. Example:
“Mr. or Madam Chair and members of the committee, I am [Name] from [City] . I am here representing [myself/my salon/group]. I [support/do not support] this bill because …”
You do not need to be worried whether you are doing it right or wrong; just tell your story in a direct and personal way. I recognize that this is very personal as it affects your livelihood and your family, but make every effort to be professional and respectful. You will be more effective.
You will want to be prepared for comments or questions from the committee members. Feel free to answer if you can. If you are unsure of the answer and need more time, let the committee member know you will send a written answer to the committee, and make sure you do it! If you have data, use it, but do not make things up (e.g. 80% of salons are in support of this, 95% of salons are against this, etc.)
- Have fun. Washington State has one of the most open legislatures in the country and make sure that you have fun. You are being part of what makes this country so great.
NOTE: The meeting date may change, so you will need monitor the legislative calendar to ensure that its moving forward. You can go to this (link) and Search under Labor & Commerce which will give you all the bills that will be heard. You can also search for the bill itself. Some may be traveling from afar, so it would be good to check this before your drive.