Our third - and hopefully final - call to action of the 2023 legislative session.
This bill would allow anyone licensed, credentialed, apprenticed, or worked long enough without
licensure (in another state without licensure requirements) as a massage therapist to practice in Nebraska - regardless of training or lack thereof. You can read it here. You can learn more details about the bill here.
LB16 is the third iteration of the same bill we have been fighting for 3 years now. Last year we were able to filibuster on the floor, but that is not an option this year with a filibuster proof legislature.
What can you do about it?
The hearing is Thursday Feb 8 so need this done ASAP. Feel free to call after hours to leave a message and fill their voicemail.
Call and email the senators of the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee (details below)
Use the sample below but know it makes a bigger impact if you personalize it a bit, not just copy paste.
Call and email Sen. Briese who introduced the bill (info below)
Submit official written testimony (can be same letter as your email) here before NOON Wednesday Feb 8, 2023. It is pretty self explanatory, but here is step by step instructions.
Follow this link and click “submit comments online for LB16
Click I understand
“Include Comment in Hearing Record YES”
Fill out your information (use find your senator link above to find your district)
Copy paste your written statement
It sends you a confirmation email. You must click the confirmation link from the email to finalize the process.
***PHONE CALL SCRIPT***
Hello Sen. ________
My name is ____________, I am a massage therapist in __(your town_) and I am calling in opposition to LB16 requiring occupational boards to issue certain credentials. This bill creates dangerous loopholes in licensing of massage therapists in Nebraska. Massage therapy, unlike many other healthcare professions, has a wide variation in education, ranging from 0 hours to Nebraska’s 1000 hours. This creates a wide discrepancy in competence and professionalism from state to state.
Nebraska has judicious reciprocity in place for massage therapy already - including temporary one year licensure for military spouses. Please do not put the public or profession at risk by dismantling the system put in place to keep us safe. Please exempt massage therapy from LB16.
Thank you for your time and consideration
To the Committee of Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs,
My name is ____, I am a massage therapist in __(your town)__. I am opposed to LB16 requiring occupational boards to issue certain credentials.
Unlike many professions, massage therapy is very different from state to state - 0-1000 hours of education needed, some areas require passage of a national board exam while others only require the purchase of a business license to practice. Nebraska massage therapists have 1000 hours entry level education, pass a national exam, have 16h continuing education every licensure cycle, and are healthcare professionals.
(Short personal story here. Examples: why you chose Nebraska to go to school, your reciprocity story, why you value your education, why you feel Nebraska’s licensure rules are valuable to the public and profession)
Nebraska already has a very judicious reciprocity in place for massage therapy licensure, that was update in 2021 to make it a more streamlined process. Also in 2021, military spouses became eligible for a one year temporary license, making it very easy for them to work in the state.
Our statutes and regulations, and education have protected the public since the 1950’s with updates throughout the years to keep up with research and acceptance of massage therapy. Not only do these keep our professionals on the leading edge of massage therapy, but protects the public from bad actors trying to use our profession as a front for illicit activities. This bill would blow a giant hole in the protective net of our state licensure.
LB16 designs dangerous loopholes in licensing of Nebraska massage therapists, creating discrepancy in competence and professionalism. It also dismantles Nebraska’s systems of protection against bad actors trying to use our profession as a front. LB16, as is, would be detriment to the safety of the Nebraska public. Please exempt massage therapy from LB16.
Thank you for your time and consideration
Your Name, Title
Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee Contact Info
Sen. Tom Brewer, Chairperson
Sen. Raymond Aguilar
Sen. Danielle Conrad
Sen. Steve Halloran
Sen. Megan Hunt
Sen. John Lowe
Sen. Jane Raybould
Sen. Rita Sanders
Introducing Senator (not on committee)
Sen. Tom Briese
More information about the bill and our opposition:
This bill would allow anyone licensed, credentialed, apprenticed, or worked long enough without licensure (in another state without licensure requirements) as a massage therapist to practice in Nebraska .You can read it here.
As you know, massage therapy is very different from state to state - 0-1000 hours of education needed, some areas require passage of a national board exam while others allow the purchase of a business license to practice.
Nebraska Massage Therapy is a 1000 hour entry level licensure, and ALL Nebraska Licensed Massage Therapists are healthcare professionals. This is not the case in many states.
Educational hours range from 0 -1000 hours of entry level education throughout the country
Four states have absolutely no requirements to become a massage therapist - including Kansas and Wyoming.
Some states like Minnesota and California do not have requirements but some of their cities and counties do. Sometimes the requirement is simply a business license; other times minimal education is needed. The profession varies widely throughout these states.
Other states like Maryland, have multiple levels of massage licensure - the lower entry level requirements do not allow massage practitioners to work in healthcare settings.
Nebraska has already accounted for this discrepancy by having a judicious reciprocity process that was updated in 2021 to further ease the process. Reciprocity information is found in
Uniform Credentialing Act https://dhhs.ne.gov/licensure/Documents/UniformCredentialingAct.pdf
Nebraska State Statute 38-129.02, Nebraska Massage Therapy Statute 38-1712 https://dhhs.ne.gov/licensure/Documents/Massage%20Therapy.pdf
DHHS Massage Therapy Regulations 172 NAC 81 https://www.nebraska.gov/rules-and-regs/regsearch/Rules/Health_and_Human_Services_System/Title-172/Chapter-081.pdf
AND state statute 38-129.01 was enacted in 2021 so DHHS can “issue a temporary credential to a military spouse” for all but dentists in the Uniform Credentialing Act which is valid for up to a year. This gives the spouse time to gather reciprocity information for full licensure in Nebraska while being able to work. https://nebraskalegislature.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=38-129.01
LB16 designs dangerous loopholes in licensing of Nebraska massage therapists, creating discrepancy in competence and professionalism. It also dismantles Nebraska’s systems of protection against bad actors trying to use our profession as a front.