Massage & Bodywork

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2015

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DS 4 September October 2015 Government Relations By Jean Robinson North Carolina—ABMP Objects We recently reported that the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy (NCBMBT) proposed rules to begin licensing massage establishments. ABMP is opposed to regulatory boards attempting to regulate businesses, since local jurisdictions usually regulate businesses already if they find a need to do so. After receiving public comments in May 2015, the NCBMBT voted at its June 2015 meeting to adopt the rule. Before the rule becomes officially adopted, however, the rule proposal must be approved by the North Carolina Rules Review Commission. ABMP submitted a letter to the North Carolina Rules Review Commission (RRC) on July 1, 2015, stating our case as to why we believe the NCBMBT is operating outside its authority by submitting the rules since they are not authorized in statute to regulate or license massage establishments. The RRC was supposed to review the rules at its July 16, 2015, meeting; however, the hearing has been postponed to September 17, 2015, at the request of NCBMBT. We will keep members informed. You can read ABMP's letter to the RRC at www.abmp.com. Vermont—Regulation Assessment Vermont is one of five US states that does not have state licensing or regulation of massage therapists. Two bills introduced over the last 24 months intended to regulate the profession, however, neither bill was written or endorsed by the massage community. The bills were written with the intent to curb human trafficking—not regulate a health profession. Because of these two bills, ABMP and the Vermont Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association submitted a Sunrise Application to the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) on June 30, 2015. The sunrise process is a preliminary assessment of the massage therapy profession conducted by the Vermont OPR to determine whether, in its opinion, the profession should be regulated by the state. As part of the assessment, OPR will schedule a public hearing where anyone is able to comment and express their opinion. ABMP will let Vermont ABMP members know when the public hearing is scheduled. You can read the Sunrise Application on www.abmp.com and may provide comments to jean@abmp.com. Jean Robinson is ABMP's director of government relations. Contact her at jean@abmp.com. Alaska—Get It Right A state law passed in August 2014 says Alaska massage therapists must hold a state-issued massage license in order to practice. Following passage of the law, the Alaska Board of Massage Therapists issued regulations filling in details of the licensing requirements and procedures. The draft regulations were open to public comment in July 2015. ABMP pointed out numerous issues with the draft proposal—not only factually incorrect information, but also a lack of clarity and completeness in general— and urged the board not to rush the process. License applications have been available on the board's website since that time, but the board may not issue licenses until the regulations are approved. ABMP will alert members in Alaska when it is time to apply for a license. ABMP Advocates For You! Updates for Alaska, North Carolina, and Vermont

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