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Onalaska business owners help pass legislation, join Gov. Walker in bill signing



Bills will reduce licensing and training requirements in cosmetology

It’s one thing when you push for changes in your industry. It’s something else entirely when you get those changes turned into law.

Bill and Sue Kolve-Feehan can say they’ve done just that. The owners of The Salon Professional Academy in Onalaska, Wis., got back from a bill signing in Madison on Monday.

The two pushed for regulatory changes in Wisconsin to greatly reduce licensing and training requirements in cosmetology. They were right there when Gov. Scott Walker signed those changes into law with two bills.

“To see all the people who are going to be able to open up a business and see all the benefits from this bill is really exciting,” Bill Feehan said.

Not only was he there at the bill signing, but as a driving force behind the legislation, he got to keep a pen the governor used to sign it into law.

Bill Feehan, who is also chair of county Republicans, also had this to say.

“It feels wonderful, and I think I can say I was a part of passing more legislation than Jennifer Shilling this year,” he said of the La Crosse Democratic senator.

Among other things, the Feehan-backed measures will allow new cosmetology school graduates to start their own business right away.

“It’s huge,” Bill Feehan said, “and talking to the legislatures that sponsored the bill, they’ve been hearing from people who are grateful that they’re not going to go through the continuing education and pay the extra money.”