As we discussed in our last update, the Pennsylvania Board of Massage Therapy is proposing new regulations which would increase the application fee for initial massage therapy licensure from $65 to $100, the fee for approval of a continuing education program from $65 to $100, and the biennial renewal fee from $75 to $200.
The Board's explanation for the proposed fee increase, as stated in the Regulatory Analysis Form, is as follows;
[T]he Board is required by law to support its operations from the revenue it generates from fees, fines and civil penalties. In addition, the [Pennsylvania Massage Therapy] act provides that the Board shall increase fees if the revenue raised by fees, fines and civil penalties is not sufficient to meet expenditures over a 2-year period. The Board raises the majority of its revenue through biennial renewal fees. A small percentage of its revenue comes from application fees, fines and civil penalties. Under section 49 of the act (63 P.S. § 627.19), initial operating funds were transferred from the Professional Licensure Augmentation Account (PLAA) to the Board to be repaid to the PLAA within 3 years of the beginning of the issuance of licenses. The current fee schedule in § 20.3 (relating to fees) was established with the Board's initial rulemaking in 2011 based upon an estimate of the costs of administering the functions of the Board at that time. See, 41 Pa.B. 16 (January 1, 2011). However, since the Board began issuing licenses in 2011, it has not produced enough revenue to cover its current operating expenses or repay the monies advanced from the PLAA. In fact, the deficit balance in the Board's account as of the beginning of fiscal year 2017- 2018 was $1,058,603.88. Therefore, the Board determined that it was necessary to raise fees to meet or exceed projected expenditures, in compliance with section 11(a) and (b) of the act. The proposal would amend § 20.3 to increase the application fee for initial licensure from $65 to $100; to increase the fee for approval of a continuing education program application from $65 to $100; and to increase the biennial renewal fee from $75 to $200. The increased application fees will be effective immediately upon publication of the final-form rulemaking. The increased biennial renewal fee will go into effect for the January 31, 2019, biennial renewal. The proposed new fees will enable the Board to avoid adding to the mounting deficits, repay the PLAA and meet its subsequent estimated expenditures for a number of years to come.
Again, we encourage you to submit your written comments on the proposal to the Board. Please submit your comments by the July 23, 2018 deadline to:
Jacqueline A. Wolfgang, Assistant Counsel
Department of State
P.O. Box 69523
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9523
Please reference Regulation #16A-724 (IRRC #3203) on your correspondence.
Please note that all correspondence, public comments and documents submitted relating to a regulation are a matter of public record and will appear on IRRC's Web site – www.irrc.state.pa.us.