Public Health Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5764

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE LICENSING OF BARBERS AND HAIRDRESSERS.

Vote Date:

3/15/2017

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

2/22/2017

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Public Health Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill exempts barbers and hairdressers from having to submit to a state and national criminal background check as a pre-requisite for state licensure. It also prohibits DPH from (1) denying an application for licensure by examination or endorsement, (2) denying reinstatement of a license, or (3) issuing a conditional license to a barber or hairdresser solely because he or she was found guilty or convicted of a felony.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

David McGuire, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut (ACLU-CT) strongly supports HB 5764 as a measure to combat the negative effects of the criminal justice system and provide employment pathways for individuals with a criminal record. A ban on barber and hairdresser licensure for individuals with criminal records does not improve public health while removing barriers to licensure for these professions provides an important entry point to possibly obtaining a steady, legal income and breaking the cycle of poverty.

Joe Horvath, Assistant Policy Director, Yankee Institute for Public Policy:

The Yankee Institute supports HB 5764 because of its focus on occupational licensing reforms that remove unnecessary restrictions on released offenders. Unless they impose a legitimate threat to public safety, policies that aim to ensure the formerly incarcerated have a fair shot at re-entry into the workforce should be supported. The Yankee Institute also supports expanding the bill beyond barbers and hairdressers.

Arvia Walker, Public Policy and Strategic Engagement Specialist, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England:

Planned Parenthood of Southern New England submitted testimony supporting the bill as a means to make Connecticut a true second chance state that opens up opportunities for individuals with a criminal record to re-enter the workforce and have autonomy over their lives. Employment is a major factor in reducing recidivism rates; recidivism rates for people who find employment after release from prison is 19% compared to 32% for those who do not find gainful employment.

The following individuals support HB 5764 as a means to provide employment opportunities for those formerly incarcerated:

Dhrupad Nag

Dr. Quennie Abad – Yale Adult Primary Care Clinic

Elizabeth Koslik

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None

Reported by: Andres J. Feijoo

Date: 3/17/2017