What a crazy, super long day! Thanks to EVERYONE who came out to the hearings, sent letters and made phone calls!
If you followed our Facebook feed you have a good idea of how things progressed. The first hearing (LB314) started at 12:30pm and the room was so full they had to have overflow space. I was lucky enough to get into the first round of opponents and felt I was able to deliver a strong message. It is a pretty simple message - massage therapy in Nebraska is healthcare, we do not tax healthcare here, and this would set precedence and open a pandora's box to taxing other healthcare services. The second hearing (LB497) started around 7:00pm and was a little less crowded. I was able to make it into the first round of opponents again and deliver a the same point in a different way. The committee was very tired by this time and didn't ask many questions. And to be fair, they had already heard the argument which is very straight forward and doesn't leave a whole lot of room for hard hitting questions.
We spoke with Sen. Briese's aide and Sen. Groene today. They were very good conversations and we will see where they take us.
As well as today went, and as tired as you might be of doing it, we have to continue "bugging" the committee with more phone calls and letters. There were SOOO many people there today, we need to ensure we stay at the top of the committee's minds.
Kent and Angela will be doing some follow up with the committee after the long weekend. I am writing a letter right now as follow up and will probably be making a couple of follow up phone calls next week.
If you have connections to other healthcare professionals, their two cents would be helpful. If Massage Therapy ends up taxed, it sets precedence and opens up pandora's box for taxing all other healthcare services.
On top of all of this, we have at least four more bills with hearings yet this session. We will be getting info about these out to you as the hearing get set. To start with, even though there is no hearing set yet, please send a letter to the HHS Committee and Senator Erdman expressing your support of LB244, mobile massage establishments. I've attached a letter graphic and contact info. You can also find easy copy paste contact info on our website here and the letter here.
Again, THANK YOU for all your hard work. Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much! (H. Keller)