This week the Patrick administration submitted a proposal to change some aspects of the Division of Professional Licensure to streamline certain areas as well address some fee issues. The intention is to make it easier and less expensive for small businesses in the state. The changes can be seen at the Governor’s website.
A few of the most important changes affect massage license fees as well as barbering, cosmetology and electrology which will now all be under one board. The change in the fees for massage are not yet delineated but this is the time for all massage therapists to get involved to push the board to advocate for the renewal fee to be reduced or the interval for renewal to be increased. The Board of Massage information on meeting schedule as well as agendas are posted online.
Some of the meeting is open to the public and some is closed. But it’s possible to request public discussion on topics that are important to the massage community. The reality is that very few people attend board meetings. Whether people believe that their professional organizations are involved (usually through a lobbyist) or other people are taking care of things, the bottom line is that if you don’t get involved then you can’t complain if you think the fees are too high or the regulations are misguided.
That’s why if you belong to a professional organization it’s also good to make sure that they are watching out for your interests as well. In Massachusetts, for instance, massage practitioners are paying much higher and more frequent fees than other professions pay but to date, there has been no visible activity by the professional organizations that represent massage to lower the fees.
Since the current proposal came from the Governor, there will be a lot of focus by the various departments in the state to move it forward. This is the time to renew your involvement and push both your professional organization and the Board of Massage to advocate for a more reasonable fee structure.