Recent News and Legislative Updates

Alaska

It has recently come to ABMP’s attention that the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) – Alaska Chapter has been working with Representative Sharon Cissna on a bill which would provide for the regulation of massage therapy, including the formation of a state massage board to implement the law. ABMP’s analysis of the bill has identified the following concerns:

Arizona

Fee change Effective October 1, 2007, the fee for the fingerprinting that is required for background checks, will change to $24. The total application fee will change to $189.00. Education hour increase Effective January 1, 2008, in order to qualify for an Arizona massage therapy license an applicant will be required to complete an approved massage program of 700 hours. Previously, completion of a 500 hour program was sufficient.

Michigan

Senate Bill 788, sponsored by Senator Gilda Jacobs, has been introduced in the Michigan Legislature. The bill would establish state licensing standards for massage therapists and create a Board of Massage Therapy to implement the process. If passed, a state license would pre-empt local regulations, only one license would be needed. It is early in the legislative process, no action is needed at this time.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin 2007 Legislative Survey Results and Next Steps for ABMP Members In July 2007, at the request of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)—Wisconsin Chapter, ABMP mailed a short legislative survey to Wisconsin members. The intent of the survey was to gauge the massage therapy community’s interest in pursuing state licensure. The current law offers state certification with title protection only.

Illinois

Illinois Grandfathering Provision: Reopened for 10 Days Act Now! September 13, 2007 The Massage Licensing Act was recently amended to provide a one-time opportunity for the licensure of an individual who failed to apply for licensure under the grandfathering provision of the Act within the time period specified in the original law. Applicants must meet one of the five qualifications for licensure listed below. Individuals must submit a completed application for licensure within 10 days.

Texas

On June 17th, Governor Rick Perry signed House Bill 2644, which amended the Texas Massage Therapy law. Effective September 1, 2007, candidates for licensure must now have completed a training program of at least 500 hours in length, consisting of the following:
  • 200 hours taught by a licensed massage therapy instructor and dedicated to the study of massage therapy techniques and theory and the practice of manipulation of soft tissue, with at least 125 hours dedicated to the study of Swedish massage therapy techniques;
  • 50 hours of anatomy;
  • 25 hours of physiology;

Connecticut

The Governor Rell signed Senate Bill 140 into law on May 22, 2007. The bill addresses two issues related to the Massage Therapy Practice Act:
  1. Replaces the title “Connecticut licensed massage therapist” with “massage therapist”; and
  2. Prohibits anyone other than a licensed massage therapist or a holder of another applicable license from using the titles “massage therapist,” “licensed message therapist,” “massage practitioner,” “massagist,” “masseur,” or “masseuse. ”

Indiana

Governor Daniels signed SB 320 into law on May 9, 2007. The new law will establish a State Board of Massage Therapy and create state certification for massage therapists. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2007 and Governor Daniels will appoint board members by January 1, 2008. State certification is a title protection act. SB 320 protects only two titles, “Certified Massage Therapist” (CMT) and “Massage Therapist”(MT). Only practitioners using these two titles need to apply for state certification.

New Mexico

House Bill 847, sponsored by Representative Rick Miera, was signed into law by Governor Richardson on April 2, 2007. The law will exempt the following practitioners from the Massage Therapy Practice Act:
  • Qualified members of other recognized professions that are licensed or regulated under New Mexico law.
  • Students within the course of their study in an approved massage therapy school and under the supervision of a licensed massage therapy instructor.
  • Visiting massage instructors who are in compliance with their resident state’s requirements for licensure.

Massachusetts

As reported in July 2006, legislation has been enacted to require state licensure of Massage Therapists, Massage Therapy schools, and Massage Therapy businesses. The Governor is in the process of selecting and appointing Board members. Following appointment, the Board members will write implementing regulations. This process has been delayed because Governor Romney did not make the appointments prior to leaving office and Governor Patrick has not yet made the appointments.

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