There are two important issues currently happening in Tennessee that impact the massage industry.
Issue #1: Rulemaking and Public Hearing to Discuss Fee Changes
The Tennessee Bureau of Health Licensure and the Massage Licensure Board have issued a notice of rulemaking to allow public comment on proposed changes. The proposed rule changes increase the individual massage therapist licensure renewal fee from $185 to $200 and increase the massage establishment licensure renewal fee from $135 to $250. Both fees are renewed on a biennial basis. ABMP understands the fee increases are an effort by the board to fix their deficit, which we believe is due in large part to addressing human trafficking. ABMP is opposed to these fee increases.
The proposed changes and public hearing notice can be viewed here.
How to participate:
Submit comments to Marc Guilford, Massage Licensure Board, Marc.Guilford@tn.gov.
Attend the public hearing on Monday, May 13, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. at the Metro Center, Iris Conference Room, 665 Mainstream Drive, Nashville, TN 37228.
Issue #2: Bills to Replace Tennessee Massage Licensure Board
Lawmakers in Tennessee are reviewing two identical bills that change the sunset termination date of the Tennessee Massage Licensure Board from June 30, 2022, to June 30, 2019. Senate Bill 0161 (SB0161) and House Bill 0492 (HB0492) are an effort by lawmakers to remove all members of the current massage board and elect new members this year. The Massage Licensure Board operated at a fiscal deficit two years in a row, which has resulted in a move by legislators to replace the current board members.
SB0161 is sponsored by Senator Kerry Roberts. HB0492 is sponsored by Representative Martin Daniel. Both bills have been referred to the Government Operations Committee under the leadership of Senators Kerry Roberts, Ed Jackson, and Janice Bowling; and Representatives Martin Daniel and Iris Rudder.
A hearing on April 10 will discuss the status of the sunset review of the massage therapy act and these bills. It is our understanding that the legislature is backing down on these bills, but this might be an interesting hearing.
How to participate:
Send an email to Senators Roberts, Bowing, and Jackson; and Representatives Daniel and Rudder. In your communication state you are addressing the two identical bills—SB0161 and HB0492.
As stated above, part of this discussion includes removing the board members as a result of the deficit and massage therapists advocating with their legislators about communication with the board and other issues. If you would like to attend the hearing it will be on Wednesday, April 10, at 8:30 a.m. at Cordell Hull Building, Senate Hearing Room I, 425 5th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37247.