NJ update on February 29th meeting

To: NJ ABMP members

From: Jean Robinson, government relations director

RE: February 29, 2012 Board Meeting, Board review of public comments submitted

Applications for licensing are NOT available yet, and probably won’t be available until the fall at the earliest. There is no action for you to take at this time; this is simply an update.

I wanted to take a moment and update you on the NJ Board of Massage and Bodywork meeting I attended on February 29, 2012. The Board was scheduled to review the public comments related to the DRAFT regulations to implement the massage and bodywork licensing law.

Most of the letters related to concern from individuals that they would not be able to obtain an “official transcript” due to the school no longer being open.  This problem has been discussed at several meetings and the Board has discussed several possible solutions, all of which were discarded as too lenient. However, at this meeting, Chuck Manning (Board Counsel) came with a viable solution.  In August 2011, Governor Christie signed Executive Order Two, which orders and directs all state agencies to implement and adhere to certain principles to provide for relief from regulatory burdens. One principle orders state agencies to adopt rules for “waivers” from regulations that are unduly burdensome.

The Division of Consumer Affairs, which the massage board is under, is in process of finalizing rules for waivers as they will relate to professional licensing.  Applicants who will not be able to have a transcript sent from their school because it is no longer open, will be able to apply for a waiver of this requirement. It is unclear exactly how the process will unfold but I felt confident that ABMP members and other massage therapists who are simply not able to obtain transcripts will have an opportunity to qualify for a license through this option.

Timeline
The Board reviewed all the public comments, made a few non-substantive changes, then unanimously approved the rules.  Next steps include another official rule review process at assorted levels within the state government. License applications will not become available until the entire process is completed, by December 7, 2012 at the latest.

The Board will be meeting again in late April to work on developing license applications, they hope to have the applications ready so there is no further delay when the rules are approved. Applications will be done on-line.

ABMP will let members know when applications are available.