RE: The Senate Committee on Government Operations is considering a massage therapy licensing bill with Senate Bill 270 (S. 270). (https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2020/Docs/BILLS/S-0270/S-0270%20As%20Introduced.pdf)
There is a meeting at the Vermont State House on February 18, 2020 at 2 p.m. in Room 4 (115 State Street, Montpelier VT 05633-5301). (https://legislature.vermont.gov/committee/agenda/2020/3597)
S. 270 would require mandatory licensure for massage therapists in Vermont, as well as establishment licensing for business owners. Sole practitioners would not have to have an establishment license, but would have to follow establishment requirements.
Public safety is the primary goal with state licensure. ABMP is concerned S. 270 is being proposed to discipline bad actors within the massage therapy community rather than to protect the public. We also have issues with the format of the bill, the lack of required education hours, and the requirement that all schools need to be accredited. We are encouraging the bill sponsors and committee members to amend S. 270 in its current form.
Be it possible, we encourage you to attend the hearing tomorrow. If not, you also have the opportunity to submit your comments to the bill sponsors and committee members if you wish via email at the addresses below:
S. 270 Sponsors: Senators Ruth Hardy, Rebecca Balint, Philip E. Baruth, Christopher E. Bray, Brian A. Campion, Alison Hudnut Clarkson, Deborah Ingram, Virginia V. Lyons, Richard McCormack, and Andrew Perchlik.
You can also find your Vermont Senators and Representatives here. (https://legislature.vermont.gov/people/) It can be beneficial to also contact them with your opinions regarding S. 270 if you are so inclined.
In addition, the Office of Professional Regulation issued an Addendum to the 2015-2016 Preliminary Sunrise Assessment on Massage Therapy.(https://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Legislative-Reports/Massage-Therapy-Addendum-FINAL-2020.pdf) If you have comments on this addendum, please address them to Director Hibbert and the Senate Committee on Government Operations.