Advocacy Update for December 2019
Friday, December 6, 2019
By Yolanda Asher, Legislative Consultant and Lauren Paap, AOBTA® Treasurer/Secretary
Legislative Activity: Illinois
We have been working with AOBTA® State Representatives Ashley Flores, Steve Rogne and Catherine White as well as AOBTA® members in Illinois to retain their right to practice ABT in Illinois. As you may know, SB.1841 was introduced earlier this year that removed the ABT exemption from Massage licensure requirements. The goal was to address issues of Human Trafficking. It was not meant to harm legitimate Asian Bodywork Therapists; however, the consequence is a law that forces ABT professionals under a Massage Therapy license. We are working diligently to preserve our educational standards and protect the ABT profession in Illinois and are in the process of drafting a proper Asian Bodywork Therapy licensing bill.
Many thanks to AOBTA® members Ashley Flores, Catherine White, Steve Rogne, Charles Segard and Elliott Challandes who took time off from work to support their colleagues, defend our profession and trekked to the state Capitol to meet with legislators. Elliot Challandes graciously welcomed everyone by hosting a dinner at his office in Springfield.
We are grateful to Kerry Heitkotter, Elliott Challandes, and Donna Harrar, who made donations to the IL member fund in support of legislative activity. Care to contribute to these efforts? You can make a donation here: DONATE NOW (indicate that your donation is for the IL Fund).
Legislative Activity: Massachusetts
We have been working with AOBTA® State Representatives Lauren Paap and Mary McAlister in Massachusetts to improve the language of S.168 “An Act Regulating Bodyworks.” The bill in its current form is too broad and vague, again in an attempt to address issues of Human Trafficking. Many thanks to Lauren Paap, Mary McAlister, Laura Indigo, Kim Purdy and Lori Maher who all testified at the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure hearing on Monday, October 28, 2019.
National Database and Guide for Law Enforcement Agencies
Regulating touch professions in an effort to combat criminal activity is a common theme around the country. In 2018 AOBTA® created an online directory for law enforcement to verify the legitimacy of our practitioners.
To help investigators distinguish between legitimate and suspicious ABT businesses we also updated our Guide to the Asian Bodywork Therapy Profession for Law Enforcement Agencies.
Asian Bodywork Therapists Are Stronger Together
As a volunteer-governed professional association we depend upon the participation of the members to support the health and vitality of our profession. Please reach out to inform us about local legislative activities or if you want to learn more and discuss ways to get involved.
We are here to support you in your efforts. EMAIL AOBTA® ADVOCACY