The Massage Compact is a project started by the Department of Defense and the Federation of Massage State Boards to bring license portability to the massage profession. My previous post outlines the process and details.
Currently there have been 5 states that have proposed bills to implement the compact. It will take 7 states passing a bill to create the compact and those 7 states will create the rules around education and other things to start the compact.
Nebraska was the first state to submit a bill which is almost funny as Nebraska requires 1000 hours of education as a requirement for licensing. The compact is based on 625 hours of education and Nebraska should not really let in other MT with less hours of education. The story is that a legislator who did not know anything about massage crafted the bill thinking it was just more about being a good thing for the military. AMTA -NB opposed it and the bill was dropped.
Washington State representative Shelly Kloba ( a former massage therapist herself) initiated the bill in WA State. WA State massage therapists testified against it for now because of the 625 hours issue. The 625 hours can be made up of any combination of massage school AND CE classes which could cause problems in a state where we are considered to be healthcare providers and can bill health insurance for massage therapy. WA State also requires a jurisprudence exam for entry level massage therapists which will test the persons knowledge of rules and regulations in WA State which is an important part of licensing.
Georgia had HB 153 in progress but it looks like it did not go anywhere but still trying to find out more about what happened there.
Nevada AMTA was instrumental in creating a bill for the compact and did extensive research and lobbying to get the bill passed. It did not pass, but not for lack of support. It was more a matter of time in having the bill be heard in the legislature. AMTA-NV did a great newsletter to keep everyone informed.
Ohio also has Senate Bill 56 in progress. The committee reports actually show letters of support from AMTA (with and exception) and ABMP (PDF) as well as the Federation of Massage State Boards.
And although AMTA has concerns regarding some of the language, specifically but not limited to, setting the bar for education at 625 hours when that number is inconsistent with how states are currently regulated, assurances have been
made by both CSG and FSMTB that a pathway for those practicing in states
that have fewer than 625 hours as a condition of licensing will be clarified through ‘rule’ once the Compact Commission is formed and we hope and expect that those assurances will be honored.”
And there you have it.