SB37 & HB 220
Single Tier Massage Legislation
January 26, 2022

Greetings AMTA Members and Friends!

Today I am writing with exciting news. The long anticipated legislation to move us to a single tier of licensure is moving through the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate.

The bills, sponsored by the Maryland Board of Massage Therapy Examiners, are HB220 and SB37 (linked if you want to take a read) and will create a single tier of Licensed Massage Therapist in Maryland.

The basic changes - no more requirements for college credits. The educational requirements for massage training will increase to 750 hours with a specific breakdown of requirements. RMPs will not be issued after 9/30/2023. When in effect new applicants will become LMTs.

Conversion from RMP to LMT will be detailed in the Regulations not this bill and is scheduled to happen on or before 10/31/2026. The MBMTE's proposal was shown at a public meeting in 2021 and was well received. Essentially, RMPs with 10+ years in will convert automatically. Those with fewer years will be able to document work experience and CE credits to meet the new educational requirement of 750 and convert to LMT status. Nobody will be required to go back to school or spend money beyond the current CE requirements to convert an LMT, although for many it will take a few years.

Yes, LMTs all pay and additional $26 fee to the state (not the board) and converted LMTs will pay this fee at their renewals.

At AMTA=Maryland we have heard majority support for this change over many years. Of course the details might not be exactly what you wanted. We see it as a fair and equitable bill that moves us forward and clarifies so much.

I looked back and found that I first spoke about this at an Maryland Board Meeting over six years ago. We have been working on it for a long time. The board worked with a stakeholders group over the last couple of years to identify the concerns and craft this major change.
Please read on below for more information about how to support the bill. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out for clarification.

Thank you to all the people over the years who have participated in this process and built the momentum to create this change.

Best wishes,

Amelia Mitchell, LMT, LLCC, BCTMB, Board Member and Government Relations Chair

for David Madon, President, Mark Hamilton, Board Member Molly Farwell, Financial Administrator and Chelsea Adams-Cook, Secretary
Your AMTA-Maryland Chapter Board
Supporting Single Tier Li-censure Legislation
Bills first go to the a House or Senate committee for a hearing, and if approved in committee then move on to be voted in full session of the House of Delegates or Senate.

What you can do:

1) Submit written testimony to the committees that are hearing the bill. This can be submitted on Friday 1/28/22 between 10am and 3pm on the MyMGA portal. You have to register and upload your document as a PDF.

2) Contact committee members and let them know you support the bill and how Single Tier would improve things for Massage Therapy in Maryland.

Senate Bill 37 is sponsored by Senator Malcolm Augustine and is being heard in the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday February 1st at 1:00pm. You can contact the members of the committee via email or phone.

House Bill 220 is sponsored by Delegate Ariana Kelly and is being heard in the Health and Government Operations Committee on Tuesday February 1st at 2:30pm. You can contact the members of the committee via email or phone.

3) Contact your local Delegate or Senator - here is a map with links to all our representatives.
General Points About this Change
Below is a list of the points we have heard over and over in favor of changing to a single tier LMT system.

  • No other state requires a massage therapist to hold a college degree.

  • This bill increases the educational hours to 750 from 600 which will provide for a qiality entry level education.

  • Licensure is in place to protect the public and provide minimum entry level standards, this will remove confusion and make the path more manageable for new therapists.

  • Future LMTs will be able to attend trade school or a community college program saving both time and a lot of money.

  • There are many places where employment has been impacted with RMPs not being allowed to work in health care settings. Often those RMPs have more education or experience, This has created income disparity.

  • Only LMTs are allowed to sit on the Maryland Board of Massage Therapy Examiners, this opens the opportunity to over 1500 individuals as they convert to LMT status.

  • Portability has been a problem for many moving to the state due to Maryland’s complicated and confusing system. This is especially true for military spouses

  • The conversion to LMT for current RMPs will take place over the next few years and not require an additional burden of time or expense on any current RMP in the process.

  • This was a collaborative effort with the Maryland Board and many stakeholders, the group included AMTA, ABMP, FSMTB, a number of Maryland Massage Schools and individual therapists.