Massage Law

Massage Law Changes Possible in 2021-2022

Last summer our Government Relations update informed the members that The Massage Therapy Panel was working on proposed recommendations that would change and update our massage law. For those who missed that update, the biggest change for current licensed Massage Therapists and any business that employs or contracts with LMTs, would be the requirement to get a Massage Therapy Establishment License. This would require massage facilities, including sole practitioners, to receive inspections from the SC Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (SC LLR). This proposed Bill was supposed to be introduced as a strike and amend to Rep. Norrell and Rep. Thayer’s current Bill H 3154, however, that bill has been stuck in the Labor, Commerce, and Industry committee with no movement at all this year.

While there was no movement in the House for the proposed bill, the practice act bill gained a Senator sponsor and was introduced in the Senate on March 19. Senator Katrina Shealy, from District 23 in Lexington County, is sponsoring the Bill S 1184. The introduction in the Senate came as bit of a surprise because it was introduced in a perfunctory session, where routine business can be conducted by the clerk without Legislatures being present, and on that same day the State House was ordered to shut down because of the virus.

Senator Shealy had hoped that the legislatures would be able to return to a normal schedule with business as usual in just a few weeks. However, when they did return for session on April 8 it was to take up Covid related legislation, state budget items, General Assembly closing resolutions and passage of several bills that had already been heard in committee, as well as ones to be ratified by the Governor. No one anticipated that all other legislative matters would come to a screeching halt.

What’s next? The bill will be re-introduced for the 2021 session which starts in January. There are a few drafting items that we plan to address before it gets re-introduced and we are hopeful to have a hearing when the session starts. This fall we will be organizing our statewide grassroots messages and will rely on our members to send letters and make phone calls to their legislators once the bill is re-introduced next year.

As always, if you have any questions about our legislative activities, please contact me at debra@amta-sc.org.

Thank you for being a part of AMTA!!!