Massage & Bodywork

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016

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DS 4 January February 2016 Government Relations By Jean Robinson During my time with ABMP, we have worked on legislation, regulation, or both in all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. I have testified on bills in 14 state legislatures, attended the board meetings of 20 different state boards (several multiple times), and worked on rules and regulations in 25 different states. I have been fortunate to have this experience. We attended the National Conference of State Legislatures my first several years with ABMP. Our members would provide chair massage at our booth, and it gave me a great opportunity to meet and discuss the issues important to them. One of the best things about this job has been the people—both the members and the incredible staff at ABMP who truly want to serve you in the best possible way. It's been a heck of a ride, and I'm proud of the work we have done. I wish you all the best! We thank Jean for all her legislative work and say goodbye as she heads off to new adventures. Have any regulatory questions? Contact ABMP Government Relations Coordinator Nancy Potter at 800-458-2267, ext. 671. As I wrap up 9+ years as director of government relations at ABMP, a thought that reoccurs to me is I wish the job was finished. Unfortunately, that is not the case. During my time here, I have advocated for reasonable, consistent legislation that benefits the public and doesn't harm or put massage therapists out of business. I think we have been pretty successful. Eight states and one territory passed laws regulating the profession (Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico) and two states changed their laws from voluntary certification to mandatory licensing (New Jersey, Wisconsin). When I first started with ABMP, the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) had just been formed and ABMP provided the start-up funding. The MBLEx was developed within a few years and one of my first goals was to educate state regulatory boards about the exam and encourage them to adopt it. In new legislation, we included more general language allowing regulatory boards to adopt appropriate exams. "I Wish the Job Was Finished" Travel Tales I am known for my travel stories. Weird things happen around me (or I pay more attention than some people). I have had just about every travel experience you can imagine. Here are some favorites: • I spent the night in the Philadelphia International Airport with thousands of my closest friends during a nasty snowstorm. • On a flight from Newark, the man in front of me took off his shirt and traveled bare-chested—I guess he was hot. • On a flight from Orlando, a woman changed her kid (not that young) and handed me the dirty diaper to hold as I was seated across the aisle. No, I didn't. • Almost every single flight I've been on from LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) includes 90 percent of people taking their shoes off. • I coined the word manspreading long before New York City did. It is common behavior on planes. You must fight for your space. ABMP's Government Relations Director Jean Robinson says goodbye.

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