Last Update: 2001-9-23
Status: Massage Registration Freedom of Access
This page's URL is http://www2.bitstream.net/~bunlion/massage/
The new legislative session started January 5, 2001. It's time to start the battle over alternative health care and licensing all over again! There is one important bill on the table this year that we are tracking.
This page is a "clearing house" of information related to the Complementary and Alternative Health Care Freedom of Access Act bills (FOA was passed into law in May 2000) and the massage "licensing" bills (HF0401) in the MN Legislature. If you are not familiar with these bills, start with What are these Bills About?. Check out the Contents section just below -- I've included contact info for the House and Senate members involved with these bills so you can contact your legislators easily, plus links to many online "lobbying tools." I update this web site frequently (often daily), as time and new info permit. If you have any additions, corrections or late-breaking news, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The MN Natural Health Coalition's web site is another good "clearing house" for FOA. The MTMN web site is a good site to learn more about the massage bill.
Promote freedom for practitioners and consumers of alternative therapies to pursue health as they see fit. Help defeat licensure any way you can. Spread the word to friends, body-workers, natural healers, your clients (that really magnifies our voices!!) and other like-minded souls -- and have them contact their legislators quickly and frequently.
Warning: This web site is currently being revised to take into account changes in the MN Legislature for the 2001-2002 session, and changes in the web site that the Legislature has. I have many links into their site and some of them may not work anymore -- try them anyway once. As you use my web site, please make sure the information you are referencing is current. I'm working as fast as I can...
(An asterisk * indicates recent updates.)
* Latest News -- Check here daily! Older news items will be moved to the Old History section, so look for them there.
* Upcoming Legislative Meetings, Votes, etc. -- check this part daily, since important meetings usually show up with little advance notice! Tells you which committees to be concentrating on right now.
What are these Bills About? -- If you don't have first-hand knowledge of what's in these bills, start here. Don't assume you know the facts -- most people have the wrong impressions.
* Important House Members to Contact -- start contacting these committee members right away, as they consider the bills first! (Already updated for 2001!)
* Important Senate Members to Contact -- the Senate is in the act early in 2001, so reach out here, too! (Already updated for 2001!)
A page on how to play the "government game" effectively.
How to Get Bill Info What Contact Info is Available for Legislators?
Who are my Senators and Representatives?
Home Pages of Selected House Committees
Home Pages of Selected Senate Committees
The Office of Governor
Tracking Bills Through the Legislature -- leads to a "Legislature 101" site! Lots of good background info here.
The Email Grapevine -- a timely way to get fast-breaking news!
A Telephone Hotline for Info (MTMN)
Minnesota Touch Movement Network (MTMN) -- an important organization for bodywork therapists of all kinds.
Minnesota Natural Health Coalition (MNHC) -- an umbrella organization representing all alternative health consumers and practitioners.
Bill to Eliminate Sales Tax on Supplements
Garden Tips for Your Grass Roots
The Soap Box -- articles and viewpoints about the licensing issue from various people.
* Old History of the Natural Healthcare Wars -- 1998 to last week.
BioPsciences Institute -- a shameless plug for my company's wonderful site.
If you missed an item from this news section, it may have been moved to the Old History page already. Any info over a week old is apt to be archived there.
It's back! The Massage Registration Bill is being introduced in the House once more, after 3 previous attempts that failed. The new bill, HF401, started in the House Crime Prevention Committee and was referred immediately to the House Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee. If there are hearings on HF401, it will be in HHS first. Hence, it's important to contact HHS members (see theHouse Members page) right away if this bill is to be stopped.
Please read this bill carefully so you can communicate clearly to committee members your opinions. An easy way to get a copy is to go to the Legislature's data base, select "House", enter the bill number ("HF401"), and hit the search button. When it brings up the summary page for the bill, click on the "Full Text" link and there you are. You can print it out on your printer (it's about 12 pages) and have some great bedtime reading.
Please contact HHS immediately!
The companion bill in the Senate for Massage Registration, Senate File 616 (SF616), was introduced in the Senate Health and Family Security Committee on Feb. 8. There are no hearings currently planned, and it's possible they will wait until the House-HHS committee acts first, but don't count on it (there were bigtime screwups last year). Many of the HFS members have a history of being hostile to our positions. In fact, the only committee that ever voted in favor of the massage registration bills in 3 years was HFS in 2000 (although the chief author withdrew the bill a week later), so we must assume we've got an uphill battle to defeat it here this year.
So there's a two front campaign for us now: House-HHS (HF401) and Senate-HFS (SF616). Please contact both committees heavily this weekend and next week! Things are picking up speed and we don't have much time!
After meeting with a group of opponents of the Massage Registration bill, Rep. Matt Entenza withdrew his support of the bill and will have his name removed as a co-author of the bill.
The Massage Registration bill failed to pass any legislative committees by the "first deadline" date of Mar. 30, effectively ending it for 2001. Let's get ready for 2002...
The Freedom of Access bill is now MN state law, effective July 1st. The new Complementary and Alternative Medicine law affects the way all alternative practitioners interact with their clients. Please do your best to learn about how the CAM law influences your practice and make this a smooth transition to the new way of practicing.
I usually receive these notices second hand and on short notice. I may not have time to double check, but the info is generally accurate. Please check here daily when the Legislature is in session -- events move very quickly and chaotically when the legislative season gets underway!
I've got links to the home pages in the state legislature's web site for the House Committees and Senate Committees that we commonly work with listed on another page. These home page links are repeated on the House Members and Senate Members pages where I maintain contact information on individual committee members. These home pages are a gold mine of info on the committees, including member lists, bills before the committee, addresses, phone numbers, up to date committee meeting agendas (extremely handy!), etc. If you phone the committee offices, you can also get the same information.
It's a good idea to check their schedules online late Friday and Saturday for the following week if you don't want to hear about meetings at the last minute.
Committees to be contacting:
House Health and Human Services -- no hearings scheduled yet, so start contacting these members now!
Senate Health and Family Security -- no hearings scheduled yet, so start contacting these members now!
A number of us are using email to pass on critical information (such as meetings and votes, contact info, etc.) in a timely manner. If you'd like to be part of this "grapevine", email me at email@example.com to be included in our address book. If you are a bodyworker or alternative health practitioner, include the modalities you work in. Feel free to pass on grapevine messages to other interested parties, especially people who are not in the immediate Twin Cities area (legislators love to hear from their own constituents). Mention the address of this web site to others, as it's an easy way to reach people quickly.
MTMN is an excellent source of up-to-date information about the current legislative drives. Call the MTMN hotline for info:
3010 Hennepin Ave. S. #275
Mpls., MN 55408
Web site: http://www.geocities.com/mtmn4u.
If you write your legislators about these bills, send an extra copy to the MTMN at the above address. If you email legislators, include the MTMN email address in the "cc:" list of your message. In this way, we have physical proof of support when testifying in committee meetings -- it helps sway votes!
MNHC is a coalition of consumers and providers of alternative and complementary health care, spanning a wide spectrum of healing modalities. They have a separate organization for lobbying purposes, the MN Natural Health Legal Reform Project. This group is the one behind the Complementary and Alternative Health Care Freedom of Access Act. While their interests are not necessarily identical with the bodywork community, we share many goals in common and anything you can do to support MNHC will be to our own benefit. That includes financial support -- lobbying is not cheap! They need to raise money to carry on their (our!) legislative activities (including paying their tireless lawyer, Diane Miller). Contact them at:
3236 17th Ave. S.
Mpls., MN 55407
Phone: 612-721-3305 (can accept faxes at this number if you call ahead)
Web Site: www.minnesotanaturalhealth.org
MNHC holds periodic public meetings covering various health care related issues.