A new version of the Safe Cosmetic Act has been released. You can read the full version of it here. http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h2359/text Many of our customers have asked me why I haven’t come out with a position on the bill yet. The reason is two-fold: (1) I had additional questions that needed to be answered and (2) My sweet baby boy is adorable and still not sleeping (see baby monitor below). In the past, I have been able to travel to Washington, DC myself to meet with Legislators, talk about the bill and its verbiage and learn the intention between many of the points in the bill. With a newborn at home who depends on me for food, I have not been as active with this iteration of the bill as I have been previously. Thankfully, others have.
Leigh O’Donnell from the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild deserves our gratitude; she has been to Washington DC on this issue six times this year alone. She went to Washington, DC this week with a list of prepared questions from a group of vendors and small businesses about the bill. Many of my additional questions have been answered. While the bill is not perfectly crafted and there are gray areas still existing, it is a better version of the bill than previous iterations. For example, small businesses are exempted from fees in this version of the bill.
I am thankful for the work of the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild and their paid advocates in getting our voices heard. While the bill, as written, is not perfect, small business does have a seat at the table with the Handcrafted Soap Guild. This bill continues to be a work in progress and this process does afford us the opportunities for change. The HSMG was invited to Washington, DC this week (as was I but was unable to attend) to meet with Legislators to talk about the bill and continue an open dialogue on how the bill can be improved and clarified.
This bill does need to be worked on; intentions in several areas are unclear, and, as written, are open to negative interpretations. But, it is better than what we have seen in the past and because of the HSMG’s careful education and the Legislators’ stated desire to work with small business, I am cautiously optimistic moving forward. Though Bramble Berry’s official position is that additional legislation is not needed for our industry, we believe that legislation is coming; if not this year, then the next. Thus, it is important to keep our lines of communication open to legislators and continue to work proactively so small business continues to be represented.
My hope is to go to Washington, DC in the fall to work on this bill on your behalf. In the meantime, Bramble Berry continues to donate to the Legislative Advocacy Fund of the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild to help support their professional advocacy work in Washington, DC. I will keep you posted as the bill continues to change and the positions in it, clarified.