Government Relations

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Regulation And Licensing

NM Massage Board News
The next NM Massage Board meeting is Wednesday March 1st at 10:00 am in Albuquerque. It will be held at the New Mexico Gaming Control Board Office, GCB Boardroom, 4900 Alameda Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM.   Visit here for updated schedule.

 

Chapter Government Relations News

March 8, 2017:  SB 275 Moves on to the House – Tentatively Friday March 10th at the Capitol

Our bill, SB 275, passed the Senate unanimously last weekend. The Senate has answered our pleas! Now we need you to email members of the House committees to which the bill has been assigned.

The House Business & Industry Committee will hear the bill soon, probably Friday March 10th around 2:30 pm. Watch our Facebook page for up-to-the minute announcements.  The following committee assignment is House Judiciary, after which it will go to the House floor for final passage.  Please send letters to the committee members listed below. A brief note of support is enough, along with your personal problems with the Board recently if you like. You can reuse the same letters you have previously sent to Senators. Be sure to change the email addresses and greeting!

Business & Industry:
Title                   Name                           E-mail                                     Party    Role
Representative    Debbie A. Rodella        debbie.rodella@nmlegis.gov      D    Chair
Representative    Patricio Ruiloba        patricio.ruiloba@nmlegis.gov      D    Vice Chair
Representative    Alonzo Baldonado    alonzo.baldonado@nmlegis.gov    R    Member
Representative    Bealquin Bill Gomez     bealquin.gomez@nmlegis.gov    D    Member
Representative    Yvette Herrell            yherrell@yahoo.com                     R    Member
Representative    Derrick J. Lente        derrick.lente@nmlegis.gov         D    Member
Representative    Tim D. Lewis            lewisfornm@gmail.com                R    Member
Representative    Jane E. Powdrell-Culbert    jpandp@comcast.net        R    Member
Representative    Carl Trujillo            carl.trujillo@nmlegis.gov                D    Member
Representative    Jim R. Trujillo            jimtrujillo@msn.com                   D    Member
Representative    Monica Youngblood  monica@MyNMStateRep.com     R    Member

Judiciary:
Title                    Name                 E-Mail                                 Party         Role
Representative    Gail Chasey       gail@gailchasey.com                 D             Chair
Representative    Javier Martínez   javier.martinez@nmlegis.gov    D        Vice Chair
Representative    Eliseo Lee Alcon    eliseo.alcon@nmlegis.gov      D        Member
Representative    Cathrynn N. Brown    c.brown.nm55@gmail.com   R       Member
Representative    Zachary J. Cook    zachary.cook@nmlegis.gov      R      Member
Representative    Jim Dines            jim.dines@nmlegis.gov               R     Member
Representative    Brian Egolf          brian.egolf@nmlegis.gov            D      Member
Representative    Daymon Ely           daymon.ely@nmlegis.gov        D      Member
Representative    Nate Gentry           natefornm@gmail.com             R     Member
Representative    Georgene Louis     georgene.louis@nmlegis.gov     D     Member
Representative   Matthew McQueen  matthew.mcqueen@nmlegis.gov   D    Member
Representative    Greg Nibert      greg.nibert@nmlegis.gov                   R       Member
Representative    William “Bill” R. Rehm    bill.rehm@nmlegis.gov      R      Member

 

Urgent Message to Santa Fe Area Members –  SB 275 Hearing Friday February 17th at the Capitol Building

Dear Santa Fe area members and those who can travel to Santa Fe:

SB 275 is likely to have its first committee hearing this Friday February 17th  in the Senate Public Affairs Committee at the NM State Capitol Building (aka The Roundhouse) at 490 Old Santa Fe Trail. Please write your letters to the committee members. Their email addresses can be found here.  If you missed the AMTA Engage email on Friday February 10th regarding the details for SB 275,  – see the message below.  You’ll also find a link to write your representative there.

If you can come to the Roundhouse on Friday afternoon for an indefinite time from about 2:00 pm until they hear the bill (or you have to leave), that would be great. You need not speak; committees often poll the room before they take a vote, so just being present helps a lot. I do understand that it’s hard to take an afternoon off to sit around the legislature, so I really appreciate those who can. Call or text me at 505-280-4195 for more information, and to coordinate on Friday.

Thank you,
Donald F. Schiff, LMT #8, RMTI #I-112
American Massage Therapy Association New Mexico Chapter 2VP & Government Relations Chair

AMTA Engage Message February 10, 2017

Dear AMTA-NM members:

In the past few years the NM Massage Therapy Board has adopted confusing and overly restrictive rules which have interfered with massage therapists’ ability to take high quality continuing education classes. The Board has created unnecessary barriers for highly qualified instructors who live out of state to offer CE’s in New Mexico. It has taken months to process applications and it has denied NCBTMB-approved CE credits taken in NM. Therefore, AMTA-NM partnered with two massage schools and 10,000 Waves to propose a change in the law to resolve our problems. The result is SB 275, which Sen. Peter Wirth (D-NM) introduced on January 31, 2017. SB 275:

– Makes the law more efficient by removing obsolete and burdensome regulations.
– Eliminates direct regulation of instructors.
– Massage Therapy licensure and Massage School registration are UNCHANGED.
– MT Board maintains oversight of school curricula and instruction.
– Eliminates over-regulation of continuing education.
– Helps overburdened MT Board focus on its core regulatory functions.
– Enhances LMT opportunities for high-quality continuing education.
– Eliminates course approval backlog and frustration.
– All Instructors vetted by trusted entities (NCBTMB, massage schools, etc.)
– Removes barriers to out-of-state instructors.
– Protects LMTs’ ability to get CEUs for exempt practices (Polarity, Qi Gong, etc.) which are related to massage.
– Eliminates unnecessary work and expense for MT Board.
– Streamlined course approval process for courses given by individuals not associated with approved providers.
– Aligns NM law with the best practices of most other states.
– Only NY, FL, and TX register instructors, and TX puts schools in charge of out-of-state CE instructors’ credentials. FL outsources CE approval altogether.
– Professional associations control CE approval for most health care and other professions, not governmental regulatory agencies.
– Helps the economy and state budget.
– Increased economic activity for schools and spas.
– Increased Gross Receipts taxes from continuing education sold in NM instead of online.
– Increased tourism from out-of-state instructors and students.

We need your help to make this happen. SB 275 has been referred to the Senate Public Affairs Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Contact your representative regarding SB 275:  Take Action Now!  (Note: If you input your zip code and it says they need your address to find your representative – just fill in your entire address including city, state and zip and your local representative will come up)

Review SB 275

Our Representatives want to know what you think on important issues. It helps them do their jobs better. In your letter please feel free to use whatever points seem most important to you, and change the content to reflect your personal message and concerns. This does not need to be a long communication, but reaching out to your legislators and urging their support is critical to passing this bill.

If you come to the Roundhouse, I urge you to find your legislators’ offices and introduce yourself.  They love meeting constituents! I guarantee that it will magnify your influence when you need to be heard on any issue.

Respectfully submitted,

Donald F. Schiff, LMT #8, RMTI #I-112
AMTA-NM 2nd VP & Government Relations Chair  (505) 280-4195

 

AMTA-NM Government Relations Report 11/13/2016

The Government Relations Committee continues to be focused on correcting the NM Massage Board’s confusing and punitive interpretations of the Continuing Education and Instructor Rules. At it’s October 9 special meeting, the Massage Board decided to accept any continuing education otherwise eligible for credit regardless of instructor status. In addition, Board Administrator Amanda Lewis was reassigned, and the Assistant Director of Boards and Commissions, Kathy Ortiz, was named as Acting Administrator. She and RLD’s attorney Mona Valicente announced that they are updating the Board’s Instructor application, despite objections from MT Board members. Hopefully this will help our situation with Til Luchau, the Rolfer who is slated to teach at our AMTA Annual Conference in April. I did send an analysis of the law and facts of the case to the Board to be discussed at a Rules Committee meeting, but I have as yet received no response. We shall see what they think, apparently at the January 11 Board meeting.

Your AMTA-NM Board is livid about the outrageous hurdles the NM Massage Board puts in the way of getting nationally recognized instructors to teach in NM. We feel that the Board’s response to school, LMT, and business complaints has been only marginally adequate, and that they are over-regulating the profession to everybody’s detriment. Requiring otherwise qualified continuing education providers to register with the state is an outrageous regulatory over-reach with extensive negative effects on licensees. Therefore, we are actively conferring with schools and businesses about ways to solve our mutual problems expeditiously.

The next regularly scheduled Massage Board meeting is January 11, 2017, either in Santa Fe or Albuquerque. Your Government Relations Committee believes that it is important that more members of the public attend Massage Board meetings to persuade the Board to adopt more practical rules, so we will update you about the place and time of future meetings. Please come if you can; more people in the room are more persuasive.

Respectfully submitted,
Donald F. Schiff, BS, LMT #8
AMTA-NM 2VP and GR Chair

 

 

Insurance Reimbursement Petition – October 2015

We have started a campaign to petition the New Mexico Insurance Commission to include massage therapy as reimbursable under the Affordable Care Act.  Please have your clients, friends, family, colleagues, and associates sign this petition —

Petition for Insurance Reimbursement

Completed petitions should be mailed by November 25th, 2015 to:
Donald Schiff, 2nd VP/Gov’t Relations Chair
3718 Campus Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Contact Donald at (505) 280-4195 or via email with any questions.

 

Government Relations Update – March 2015

 Our Sunset Extension Bill SB318 passed the final step during the 2015 Legislative session on March 19th.  It awaits the Governor’s signature before April 10th. Thank you to everyone that made calls and worked on the Legislators at the Roundhouse during Massage Therapy Awareness Week March 16-20th!!

Government Relations Update – January 2015

Support Our LMT Law
Action Needed By Our Members!

As most of you know, our licensing law is scheduled for its periodic Sunset Review in 2015.  The AMTA-NM Chapter has retained a lobbyist to help renew our LMT Laws.  As a member of this profession, YOU CAN HELP!  In order to gain support in the New Mexico Legislature, our lobbyist request that our members take the following actions:

Urge Your Friends/Family To Apply For A Public Position On The NM Massage Therapy Board

The NM Massage Therapy Board is not complete – they are actively seeking public members – not in the massage therapy profession.  Our lobbyist would really like to have names submitted before January 19th, 2015, the next Legislative Committee meeting. Please urge your friends or family members to apply online.  The commitment is a willingness to serve, quarterly board meetings in Santa Fe or Albuquerque, and an interest in protecting the massage therapy profession.

Write Your Own Senators And Representatives

Letters should be short and to the point, using your own words.  They should at least contain the following points:

  • I am your constituent in (location/district).
  • I receive/perform massage, have a massage business, etc.
  • I support continued licensure for massage therapists.
  • Add any other reasons if you wish.

To find your NM Legislator, CLICK HERE and enter your address. Click on the Legislator’s name to view their address.

Contact the NM Legislative Finance Committee

Members of the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) are responsible for adding Massage Therapy into the sunrise/sunset bill for committee legislation. We urge you to have your colleagues and friends contact the LFC by phone or email and ask them to include renew of the massage therapy regulations in upcoming legislation.

Please Contact Our 2nd Vice President and Government Relations Chair, Donald F. Schiff At505-280-4195 If You Have Any Questions.

We appreciate your help!


Government Relations Update – October 2014A NM Massage Board Rules hearing for is scheduled for Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 9am at the Regulation and Licensing Department, 2550 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, NM 87505.  (Not September 22 as previously reported.)  Most of the rules changes are for clarity or to implement legislative requirements which apply to all state licensing boards.  However, there are a few substantive changes in Rule 16.7.11 NMAC, Continuing Education, which will affect our members.  You may comment in person at the meeting.  You may also comment in writing at massage.board@state.nm.us, or at this address:Massage Therapy Board
PO BOX 25101
Santa Fe, NM 87505The first change reduces CE hours allowed to be taken online for both licensees and instructors to 8 of 16.  Previously there was no limitation.  Moreover, credit will only be given for technique courses if they are hands-on, not taken online.  The second change requires all 16 CE hours for instructors to be related to teaching adult learners.Your AMTA-NM Board of Directors has taken no position on these proposed rule changes, preferring to let members themselves decide about the wisdom of the proposals.  However, as your Government Relations Chair and co-author of our original licensing law (and many of our current rules), I do have personal opinions to share with you.  (Also see comments from 3rd VP, Dee Dee Anders below).First of all, limiting the number of credits allowed for online courses seems arbitrary and unwise to me.  I believe that licensees should have the unrestricted ability to decide which CE courses are in their best interests. If a course fits the criteria established for CE credit, it should be allowed, no matter whether it was taken online or in person. If the board determines that there is a problem with the quality of some online courses, then it should devise rules to deal with that perceived lack of quality. Limiting the number of CEUs taken online does nothing to improve their quality. It merely limits LMTs’ legitimate choices based on what other choices they have taken.  Although I don’t believe the Board intended to do so, such a restriction could be interpreted as protecting the business interests of existing schools and independent instructors at the expense of online CEU providers, which in my view would be an illegitimate use of government power, and potentially an equal protection issue. Therefore I strongly oppose this proposal.I do endorse restricting credit for technique courses to those given hands-on.  I don’t believe most people could learn a technique adequately without being able to see it live and practice it with another person under the supervision of an instructor.One of the Massage Board members pointed to her perception that most massage therapy instructors are experts in content, not instruction, as the justification for the proposed requirement that all CEUs for RMTIs be related to instruction.  Evidently, the Massage Board is trying to take action to improve the quality of instruction in NM Registered Massage Schools. Bravo! That goal is utterly worthy of the Board’s attention, and I applaud their attempt.  However, it is a drastic change in CEU requirements for RMTIs, and it applies to all instructors regardless of experience or skill. Moreover, I don’t think the proposed requirement will solve the perceived problem without strengthening initial requirements for instructor registration. I would be open to requiring that some CEUs be related to instruction, but only when requirements for initial registration are also raised.  I endorse RMTIs taking CEUs related to teaching, particularly when they (or their employers!) think they should. I oppose requiring all RMTIs to take all their CEUs related to teaching.Raising the roof of a flooded house won’t dry it out. Let’s pump the basement first.—————————

As most of you know, our licensing law is scheduled for its periodic Sunset Review in 2015.  Our lobbyist suggests the following:
For now, write to your own Senators and Representatives.  We may want to target individuals later, but letters from actual constituents are more persuasive.  Find your legislators here, along with their contact information.Letters should be short and to the point, using your own words. They should at least contain the following points:
• I am your constituent in (location).
• I receive / perform massage.
• I support continued licensure for massage therapists.
• Add reasons if you wishRespectfully submitted,Donald F. Schiff
AMTA-NM 2VP and GR Chair
(505) 280-4195
<donschiff@swcp.com> Online hours: I support the maximum 8hr online hour CEU requirement. We work in a touch field and in an industry where we interpersonally relate with other on intimate basis.  I think it’s important to have in class work and to talk with and learn from other therapists, question instructors and get feedback.  While I understand that we live in a rural state I don’t think that 8hrs is an undo burden every 24 months.  (Also, and not a major part of my decision but a consideration, I know of a number of therapist  who “cheat” their online CEU’s – pay the money and just take the multiple choice test until they get their passing grade, which having taken an online class generally isn’t that hard.)Technique Classes: I strongly support that technique classes should be hands-on. We’re massage therapists, need I say more.Instructor CEU’s: I support 16hrs educational instruction for educators.  I agree with the assertion that many massage instructors are masters of content and go into teaching because they are good at what they do and not because they are good at relating information.  Good instructors are made and it takes practice and learning, just as being a good massage therapist takes practice and education.  We’ve talked about raising the bar to our profession, this is where we start.  Improve our educators and we likely improve the educational level of the students coming out of schools.  When you have a good teacher you’re more engaged.  Again, one weekend (16hrs) every 2 years is not an undo burden, they have to take the credits anyhow and there’s lots of interesting topics of teaching out there.

****************
Government Relations Update – September 2014A NM Massage Board meeting was held in August in which the Board scheduled a Rules hearing for September 22, 2014 at 9am at the Boards and Commissions office in Santa Fe.  Most of the rules changes are non-controversial. The one rule that will affect some of our members is a change in the Continuing Education hours for Instructors: the 16 hours are proposed to be entirely composed of courses related to teaching adult learners.  My personal opinion is that the idea is a good one, but it goes too far.  The Assistant Attorney General at the meeting said that it would be possible to reduce the requirement to 8 of the 16 hours, which I personally endorse.If you want to comment on the rules changes but cannot attend the meeting, the NM Massage Board will accept comments on its website starting 9/22/14, see the link under “Board Meeting Information”here.  A summary of the rules changes can be found in the April 2014 board meeting minutes. The complete rules changes are to be posted on 9/22/14 (30 days before the hearing), but the website is often not kept up to date. You can also send comments in writing to:Massage Therapy Board
Toney Anaya Building
2550 Cerrillos Road, Second Floor
Santa Fe, New MexicoAs most of you know, our licensing law is scheduled for its periodic Sunset Review in 2015.  Our lobbyist suggests the following:For now, write to your own Senators and Representatives.  We may want to target individuals later, but letters from actual constituents are more persuasive.  Find your legislators here, along with their contact information.Letters should be short and to the point, using your own words. They should at least contain the following points:
• I am your constituent in (location).
• I receive / perform massage.
• I support continued licensure for massage therapists.
• Add reasons if you wishThat’s it!  Thank you for taking the time to stay involved at the local level.
Donald F. Schiff, Government Relations Chair & 2nd VP
Government Relations Committee Update December 2012
Felicia Harvey, government relations chair, attended NM Massage Therapy Board meeting in November 2012.

  • She submitted an application for a NM Massage Board position.
  • The next meeting was set for Wed Feb 13th at 10:30.  Elizabeth Harris is the new chair of the committee.
  • The State Tax & Revenue statute needs to be changed if we (LMTs) want to be exempt from gross receipts. We must write a bill.
  • The board may require a photo ID for a massage license in the future to help deal w/massage parlor places. Each county or municipality is responsible for busts of massage parlors. The Federation of massage schools is creating a database to help w/this problem (they have the budget and manpower). Nation wide issue that won’t be easy to tackle. The board is looking at making an out of state license harder to obtain, because these people are falsifying records using out of state schools. The NM Board isn’t sure they have authority over non-liscensed massage persons – we are trying to get it clarified via our scope.  AMTA member Donald Schiff is on committee for this issue. We should use our contacts in vice to turn these massage parlors in.
  • LMTs are not required by law to have liability insurance. Should this be amended?

House Bill 481 – Amending a Section of the Massage Therapy Practice Act
There has been a revision to our regulations concerning “inactive status” as a massage therapist. No longer will your license be placed in automatic inactive status if you have not renewed at the end of a 60-day grace period. Under the previous wording, your license would automatically expire if not reactivated in a 2 year period. Effective July 1, 2011, a LMT must submit a written request to the NM Massage Board requesting inactive status and pay an annual fee.  For the full text of House Bill 481, click here

February 2011 Government Relations Report
Thanks to Dan Barrow, government relations liaison for preparing this report.
July 30, 2010 NM Massage Therapy Board Meeting
Members of the Chapter attended the NM Massage Therapy Board Meeting in Santa Fe on July 30, 2010.  Government Relations Chair, Dan Barrow, has prepared a report of that meeting.  Topics discussed included the eligibility and terms of board members, the proliferation of “Chinese” massage establishments, and the ability of massage therapists to perform facials.
LMT License Renewal
The Regulation and Licensing Department is now offering licensees the ability to change their mailing address and request duplicate licenses online! Please click on the following link to take advantage of these new services: https://mylicense.rld.state.nm.us. Step-by-step instructions on the web pages will guide you through the processes. Please have your license number handy as you will need it to register for a username and password. Mailing address changes submitted online will be reflected in the licensing system 24 hours after they are submitted. Duplicate licenses will be mailed to the licensee within 5 to 7 business days. Questions? Please contact the Massage Therapy board administrator at RLD for more information at 505-476-4870 or massage.board@state.nm.us.

A NM Massage Board meeting was held in August in which the Board scheduled a Rules hearing for September 22, 2014 at 9am at the Boards and Commissions office in Santa Fe.  Most of the rules changes are non-controversial. The one rule that will affect some of our members is a change in the Continuing Education hours for Instructors: the 16 hours are proposed to be entirely composed of courses related to teaching adult learners.  My personal opinion is that the idea is a good one, but it goes too far.  The Assistant Attorney General at the meeting said that it would be possible to reduce the requirement to 8 of the 16 hours, which I personally endorse.

If you want to comment on the rules changes but cannot attend the meeting, the NM Massage Board will accept comments on its website starting 9/22/14, see the link under “Board Meeting Information”here.  A summary of the rules changes can be found in the April 2014 board meeting minutes. The complete rules changes are to be posted on 9/22/14 (30 days before the hearing), but the website is often not kept up to date. You can also send comments in writing to:

Massage Therapy Board
Toney Anaya Building
2550 Cerrillos Road, Second Floor
Santa Fe, New Mexico

As most of you know, our licensing law is scheduled for its periodic Sunset Review in 2015.  Our lobbyist suggests the following:

For now, write to your own Senators and Representatives.  We may want to target individuals later, but letters from actual constituents are more persuasive.  Find your legislators here, along with their contact information.

Letters should be short and to the point, using your own words. They should at least contain the following points:
• I am your constituent in (location).
• I receive / perform massage.
• I support continued licensure for massage therapists.
• Add reasons if you wish

That’s it!  Thank you for taking the time to stay involved at the local level.
Donald F. Schiff, Government Relations Chair & 2nd VP