Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Angela Rigas objects to ‘Regular’ barber inspections as Dems continue to defect
RELEASE|October 11, 2023
Contact: Angela Rigas

Freshman legislator Rep. Angela Rigas spoke out on the floor today in Lansing against HB 4647 — which would change licensing and registration requirements for Michigan barbershops and barber colleges.

Specifically, the bill would change the word “annually” to the word “regularly” when it comes to the required frequency of licensing inspections for these businesses.

“I rise today to speak against this bill — and I do that as both an elected representative and a professional stylist for the last 25 years,” Rigas said in her remarks on the House floor Tuesday. “In my long career cutting hair, I’ve seen firsthand how these small businesses and the government interact…Words like ‘regularly’ are not specific enough for professional barbers, stylists and shop owners.”

Rigas’ chief concern is that the broader language may open the door to either harassment or neglect depending on the whims of the agency executing the inspections.

For example: Rigas wondered “what ‘regularly’ looks like for a 77-year-old barber from Owosso who’s been in operation for half a century? Or what does ’regularly‘ look like for a 48-year-old hair stylist who once cut hair on the capital lawn?  Will ‘regularly’ be the same for everyone? Or will some find themselves under more severe government scrutiny?”

Rigas’ words seemed to have real impact on the floor. The measure did pass the Democratic majority in the House, but at least one Democratic representative and dozens of Republicans joined Rigas to total 50 NO votes in all – bringing the measure to the brink of defeat.

“We’ve been seeing increased support from the more rational Democrats lately, and it’s encouraging,” Rigas said. “Whether it was the NO vote with me today or Rep. Whitsett’s courage to kill that terrible abortion package, progress is being made. Good ideas and good arguments deserve to win out no matter the party. I’m glad to see that collaborative attitude manifesting so strongly amongst so many of my colleagues.”

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