Day Eleven/Twelve :: Hair Braiding and Uber

In Governor Greiten’s State of the State address last week, he spent a decent portion of that time talking about braiding hair, and I do mean that literally. He suggested that citizens in Missouri who want to become hair braiders have to become licensed cosmetologists which requires 15,000 dollars and 1500 hours in school. Just to braid hair.

Greiten’s assured that he would be reigning down on this issue within the first month.

And he kept to his word.

Missouri House Representatives had their first committee hearing on Wednesday to discuss HB 230, titled the Hair-Braiding Freedom Act (and I’m not kidding). The bill would essentially allow those only interested in a hair-braiding business to go ahead and do so without the added hassle of a cosmetology license.

There were many positive testimonies regarding this bill, mainly owners, workers, and patrons of African American salons, who stress that all they would be doing is braiding hair. Nothing else. Of course, representatives had a few comments to say in regards to being educated to comply with health and sanitary regulation. A part of what comes along with a cosmetology degree is to learn how to safely deal with someone else’s hair and an incident of hair herpes was brought forward.

Anything that had to do with heating or cutting a hair would have to be done by a separate party, essentially.

Positive testimonies claimed that the only people currently allowed to braid hair are not trained whereas there are hair-braiding professionals that are more knowledgeable and many of them do not need 1500 hours in training.

The bill was not voted upon and will see executive session likely sometime next week.

Now, TODAY, being January 26th, I sat in on the House session to place an official vote on HB 130 to regulate Transportation Networking Companies as well as making them statewide in Missouri. Currently, Uber only operates out of Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia (and St. Louis, technically, although not legally as I understand it).

Most cities and states in the U.S. have statewide TNC laws where rideshare drivers can legally operate anywhere; Missouri doesn’t have that. And, of course, there were issues brought up such as a chauffeurs license, which is honestly a valid point. One of the representatives mentioned that a taxi cab driver and even a pizza deliver worker needs to have a chauffeurs license while a uber driver does not.

A simple ‘rating’ of whether or not a driver is creepy, or smells nice, or is a safe driver, etc. is not a reliable depiction of whether or not you should get in that car. While it is more affordable than cab drivers, you will also be presented with a much more organized and safe system in regards to taxis.

One of the representatives mentioned a lady who had a sexual assault claim against an uber driver and it took the St. Louis Police Department three weeks to get the required information from Uber regarding who drove her. It’s a disorganized system.

However, having said that, approving Uber statewide will create hundreds and possibly even thousands of more jobs and increase revenue for the government.

The bill house with an overwhelming majority of nearly 90% and now proceeds to the Senate.


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