The ABMP Government Relations team has been busy preparing for the 2022 legislative session. California, Minnesota, and Indiana are states that currently remain unlicensed for massage therapists. In 2022, ABMP will be working diligently to bring statewide licensure to California. Minnesota has a licensing bill that will be introduced this session, and we’ll be collaborating with coalitions to support the bill. Indiana is finalizing rules that will bring its licensing bill into effect and introduce licensure to massage therapists.
Other initiatives for the upcoming year include a sunset review in Colorado and board cleanup bills in South Carolina and Oklahoma. As we move forward in these states, we will send communications to keep you informed.
Let’s look back on some of 2021’s most exciting Government Relations activity. In the beginning of 2021, ABMP, the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, and the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation teamed up to apply for a grant to look at a reciprocity compact for massage therapy that would allow licensed therapists who have had no discipline and have a clean background check to easily move to a compact state. We have been working with a group of practitioners, educators, and regulators since September 2021 to draft this bill. After the bill is drafted in spring 2022, there will still be stakeholder input; so we anticipate working on passing the compact bills in a number of states by 2023.
Here is an overview of the biggest legislative trends the ABMP team was watching and advocating for you in 2021:
• Licensure efforts in Minnesota, California, and Kansas
• Continuing education revisions in Hawaii, and a number of states that require CPR training, cultural competency courses, and human trafficking prevention courses
• Rule modifications in Indiana, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi
• Advocating efforts in local establishment ordinances in Denver, Colorado; Tucson, Arizona; and Fargo, North Dakota In addition, Government Relations
Executive Director Laura Embleton attended virtual massage therapy board meetings in 28 states. In the fall of 2021, travel was reinstated and Embleton was able to attend a California Massage Therapy Council meeting in California, the Florida Board of Massage Therapy meeting, and additional state board meetings in person.
ABMP’s Government Relations Team will continue to monitor state boards and state legislatures for bills and board regulation and state and federal COVID-19 updates.
The ABMP Government Relations Team tracks legislative and regulatory changes across the country. We monitor and comment on proposed rules and communicate to you any changes that affect your practice. For the latest updates, including in your state, click here.