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  • Writer's pictureKirby Clark, MMT

MTTAC Review & Legislative Update

Next Monday, (3/11/24), the Massage Therapy Technical Advisory Committee will hold their first quarterly meeting of 2024(the last year for many of the current sitting members) at 9am in Little Rock, Arkansas. Today's blog post is to review their last meeting from December 2023 and discuss the recent new legislative acts in Arkansas that directly impact massage therapy.

December's meeting of the Massage Therapy Technical Advisory Committee was a lot more satisfying (and concise) than September's.

December 2023 - MTTAC Review

The first thing to notice is that our 7th MTTAC member, who is a representative of the public has been absent for the last 4 regular quarterly meetings (and the special meeting last October). Meaning it has been a full year since our public member attended an MTTAC meeting.

Speaking in terms of absences, the Department's Administrative Hearings Officer resigned between September & December. The Department was joined with who they described as a "legend" administrative hearing law judge.

The administrative hearing brought before them dealt with the consent agreement that seems to have been going on since this MTTAC began their terms! There was evidence that the business and two licensed therapists violated the consent agreement MTTAC had made with them and had unlicensed individuals working at their spa. Because they failed to comply with the consent agreement, ADH recommended revocation of their licenses and the registration of their establishment. Which MTTAC unanimously voted to accept, with only one member recusing themself.

There were five individuals with a number of continuing education courses up for approval, of which all were approved. There is a new application form available with an updated checklist for new continuing education courses being submitted for approval.

In terms of our program update, there had been some complaints made from licensees about the design of the new licenses and how they are mailed (which leaves unsightly creases). The Department stated that this is an administrative decision to save funds in the design (which is the same design used for cosmetologists) and how they are mailed. At least we have our original license numbers again. Hopefully, CLIPS will be fully online soon, but the mail will have to be used in the meantime.

Legislative Update

A reminder that this year is a fiscal session for the Arkansas General Assembly. There is likely not going to be much substantive changes to the massage therapy LAW. There will be new RULES promulgated by the Board of Health to match the law that was updated in August 2023.

Even though there aren't likely to be any legislative changes affecting massage therapy this year, I will remain committed to keeping a pulse on the legislature when the fiscal session begins in April. Part of that will be participating as a volunteer with AMTA for their Massage Therapy Legislative Awareness/Advocacy Day (MTLAAD) on April 29.

I can share that AMTA has retained a lobbyist through this legislative session through the start of next year's regular session. This is part of AMTA Arkansas' efforts to make a difference for massage therapy in our great state & keep up with legislative changes.

Peace and Healing,

Kirby Clark Ellis, MMT, BCTMB

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