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Massage Today
May 7, 2009

Montana HB 662 Signed into Law

By Editorial Staff

House Bill 662, "an act licensing and regulating massage therapists; establishing a board of massage therapists; providing rulemaking authority for the board; establishing qualifications for licensure; providing penalties; and providing an immediate effective date," was signed by Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer on Tuesday, May 5, 2009.

The bill passed through the various government bodies with relative ease, while only being introduced by state Rep. Elsie Arntzen (R) less than two months before it was signed into law.

According to the bill's text, the Montana board will consist of five members, appointed by the governor, and shall serve 4-year, staggered terms. To be eligible for licensure, Montana applicants must be 18 years or older, pay a fee (established by the board on or before Jan. 1, 2010), and complete a massage therapy program of a minimum of 500 hours, or "possess an equivalent current license, certification or registration in good standing from another state." (Section 7. Qualifications for licensure.)

As of July 1, 2010 those who are not licensed massage therapists may not practice "massage therapy" or use the verbal or written terms: "licensed massage therapist" "masseur" or "masseuse". Exempt from regulation are those who practice the Feldenkrais method, Rolf method, reiki, and shiatsu, among others.

The bill also includes specific terms regarding the grandfathering process in section 8 (Initial licensure - grandfather clause):

"(1) As of July 1, 2010, the board shall issue a massage therapy license to an applicant who applies or has applied for a license by paying the application fee and by providing a signed affidavit to the board that the applicant has engaged in the practice of massage therapy for at least 100 hours in Montana prior to applying for a massage therapy license under this section and that the applicant meets the requirements of [section 7].
(2) (a) A license issued under this section is valid for the same initial period as a license issued under [section 7] and is subject to the same renewal requirements and renewal fees as a license issued under [section 7]. (b) A person may not apply for licensure under this section after July 1, 2012."

For the complete text of the bill go to: http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2009/billhtml/HB0662.htm.

 

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