Respectfully submitted by Nikki Arel, GR
This session has been VERY busy and at the writing of this report will, most likely, be going into special session.
The massage therapy profession has been active in the budget process, as Governor Lamont’s initial budget proposal removed the exemption for sales tax for massage therapy. We mobilized immediately and both Becca and myself sent letters to the Governor. Then, with the input and assistance of National, we sent an Engage letter to our membership asking the Finance Committee to respect that massage is healthcare and we should not be subject to sales tax.
In our on-going campaign, there were letter-writing requests and phone calls, visits to the Capitol and legislators, multiple public testimony days and planning for the Legislative Awareness Day. As we came upon LAD, we still have no budget but we do have the small victory that, at this moment, we are not in the budget that the Finance Committee released. they are in current negotiations over the final budget that the House and Senate will be presented and voted upon.
At this time, I am in close contact with our Lobbyist and working upon her suggestions for who to contact and what is needed to keep our course and remain under exemption.
On a happy note, Legislative Awareness Day was incredibly well-received and had 19 volunteer LMTs giving 189 massages! 26 legislators were on our chairs and mats and each one received a personal, hand-written note from me within the week after LAD.
Please continue to watch your emails and the social media posts for any opportunities to lend your voice. I hope to report, VERY soon, that the budget has been proposed, passed and signed and that we are solidly in the exempt category still (meaning not subject to sales tax).