Tuesday Morning from 9-11am
Board of Chiropractic and Massage Therapy Examiners
Emergency Meeting to Discuss HB 1420  
Dear AMTA Member,

As we hope you know, AMTA has been involved with the legislative side of massage therapy in Maryland for many years and we retain a lobbyist who is in Annapolis and around the state working to advance the field of Massage Therapy as well as to protect our interests.

A project that has been underway for many years has moved forward for the 2016 Legislative Year. House Bill 1420 has dropped and will have its committee hearing on
March 14th. 

There is another important date before that, though - this Tuesday, February 23rd, the Board of Chiropractic and Massage Therapy Examiners (our licensing and registration board) will be holding a meeting from 9-11am to discuss this bill, and hear testimony. 

The meeting will be held at 4201 Patterson Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215, room 110.
Can you attend? Your support is welcome and appreciated.

Best wishes,
Maryland Chapter, American Massage Therapy Association
Sabrina Lopez, President
Amelia Mitchell, First Vice President
Sally Mendoza, Second Vice President
Rosa Compton , Secretary
About House Bill 1420
The Maryland Massage Therapy Act
The purpose of the bill is to create two separate boards - a Board of Chiropractic Examiners and a Board of Massage Therapy Examiners.  All current laws and rules would stay exactly the same. It is our understanding that on a day to day basis, the two boards would share the administrative staff and the Executive Director would oversee both boards. There is not expected to be a fiscal impact to the state due to this change.

While we appreciate that many people would like to see some legislative changes for Massage Therapists, the wisdom of our lobbyist and National is that we only look to change one thing at a time.

The standard way to bring another profession into the licensing and registration of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene was to add them as an advisory board and give them a chance to learn the process, work out the kinks, and gain experience. The massage therapy profession went through this process and a few years later legislation changed the name and brought massage therapists on in an official capacity, creating the current dual board.  There are presently three massage therapists on the Board, with David Cox, LMT serving as Vice President.

Maryland Massage Therapists have had the time to gain experience and are ready and able to step forward to take on the process of governance - the licensure, registration, and regulation of our profession.

Massage Therapy is increasingly being accepted as Health Care, with studies proving its effectiveness for many concerns. The field is growing and advancing in response to this and Maryland MTs are ready to move forward independently to meet the future of Massage Therapy. As we grow, techniques, modalities, and specialties are developing. Those who are best qualified to understand and oversee this growth and change are our Licensed Massage Therapists. 

AMTA Maryland is in support of this bill and will be at the meeting on Tuesday, as well as the committee hearing on March 14th and Legislative Day on March 16th.

Your Support
Are you ready for us to have our own board? Please come support that at the upcoming meetings.  We will also be sending out information to help you contact your legislators, as constituent interest is something that is truly important.
  Read House Bill 1420
Please take some time and read the bill so that you can understand it. We are very happy to tell you more about it and provide guidance on the process. 

The full text can be found here:  House Bill 1420 
  Committee Hearing - March 14th
Monday, March 14th at 1pm

The first step of any legislation is a committee hearing. HB 1420 will be heard by the Health and Government Operations Committee and testimony will be accepted that day.  Our Lobbyist, Dennis Rasmussen is working with AMTA leadership to plan the testimony and having additional therapists there to bring support to the bill would be wonderful.  If you are interested in joining us in Annapolis on the 14th, please be in touch.  Sally Mendoza is keeping track of the details so please email her at vp2.amta.maryland@gmail.com to let us know you are coming or with any questions. 
  Legislative Day - March 16th
Wednesday, March 16th 9am - 3pm

Dear AMTA Members,

In cooperation with Senator Klausmeier, we have been able to confirm March 16th as the AMTA Legislative Day in Annapolis. The Miller East Conference Room on the first floor of the Miller Senate Office Building has been reserved for the AMTA from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Dennis F. Rasmussen 
AMTA Lobbyist 

Join us in Annapolis on March 16th. As you have read above, 2016 is an important year, and having a strong presence will be important. Come spend a day in Annapolis, meet Legislators and their staff, provide chair massage, and make a difference for Massage Therapists in Maryland. Sally Mendoza is organizing our group - if you can come, or want more details, please contact Sally at vp2.amta.maryland@gmail.com