Hairdressers across Washington took their political scissors to proposed legislation to eliminate a business model they’ve used for years.

The legislation is now officially dead.

State Sen. Karen Keiser, a Democrat, announced Thursday that Senate Bill 5326, intended to prohibit hair salons and barber shops from contracting out space to independent stylists, has been dropped after negative comments from across the state, according to a press release.

Keiser said in the release she and other senators heard from hundreds of hairdressers who felt the bill would jeopardize their profession by changing the way many salons are set up for business.

Many smaller salons lease or sublease chairs in the shop to independent hairdressers who are licensed individually instead of being directly employed by the shop owner. Several salons in the Longview area have conducted business this way for decades. The arrangements allow them to avoid paying unemployment and workers compensation taxes. But other businesses operate on this model as well.

“Thanks outreach, it was made clear that this bill fell short of those requirements,” Keiser said in a statement. “I will still work hard to promote fair employment practices and will be focusing my time on legislation regarding non-compete contracts.”

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