2005 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services
By: Representative Brown
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 73-67-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT ANY PERSON WHO HAS PRACTICED MASSAGE THERAPY FOR MORE THAN TWENTY-FIVE YEARS BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT, WHO IS EMPLOYED AS A MASSAGE THERAPIST BY A NONPROFIT YMCA OR YWCA ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT, IS EXEMPT FROM HAVING TO TAKE AN EXAMINATION FOR REGISTRATION UNDER THE PROFESSIONAL MASSAGE THERAPY ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT PERSONS EXEMPT UNDER THIS ACT MAY APPLY FOR A MASSAGE THERAPY CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION UNTIL JANUARY 1, 2006, BUT MAY NOT PRACTICE MASSAGE THERAPY AFTER THAT DATE UNLESS A VALID CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION IS OBTAINED; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 73-67-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-67-21. (1) It shall be the responsibility of a massage therapy establishment to verify the current registration of any and all persons practicing massage therapy at the location of or on behalf of the establishment. Failure to comply is subject to penalty assessed by the board of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) and not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per offense.
(2) No person may advertise massage or practice massage for compensation in this state unless he is registered as a massage therapist by the board. No person may use the title of or represent himself to be a massage therapist or use any other title, abbreviations, letters, figures, signs or devices that indicate that the person is a massage therapist unless he is registered to practice massage therapy under the provisions of this chapter. Massage establishments with six (6) or more registered massage therapists shall be exempt from the advertising provisions found in Section 73-67-29 provided that the therapy or service is performed by person(s) registered under this chapter.
(3) The following are requirements for registration:
(a) An applicant must be eighteen (18) years of age, or older, on the date the application is submitted.
(b) An application must provide proof of high school graduate equivalency.
(c) An applicant must be of legal status not only to receive a certificate of registration, but also to work in the State of Mississippi with that certificate of registration.
(d) An applicant must supply proof of current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid of at least eight (8) hours of training, including practical testing, and supply documentation of familiarity with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
(e) All required fees for registration must be submitted by the applicant.
(f) Any and all requirements regarding good moral character and competency, as provided for in this chapter and in accepted codes of ethics, shall be met.
(g) An applicant must have completed an approved continuing education course on communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS information and prevention.
(h) The applicant's official and certified transcript(s) from the applicant's massage therapy school. The transcript must verify that the applicant has completed a board-approved training program of no less than the minimum requirement for supervised in-class massage therapy instruction and student clinic, with a minimum grade requirement of "C" or better in every course of instruction, as stated for school requirements; or if the applicant is submitting criteria from an apprenticeship program, all required documentation, forms and other board-stipulated requirements must be met.
(4) The following pre-act practitioners are exempt from having to take any examination for registration, but must fulfill all other requirements as stated in this chapter, except for the requirements in subsection (2)(h) of this section:
(a) Those having more than three hundred (300) documented, board-accepted in-class hours of massage therapy education before January 1, 2001.
(b) Those having more than five (5) years of professional massage therapy experience and a minimum of one hundred fifty (150) hours of approved massage therapy education.
(c) Those having no formal training, but who have successfully passed the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
(d) All grandfathering exemption allowances as stated in this subsection (4) shall end on July 1, 2002, for nonstudents, and on June 1, 2003, for students who were enrolled in a part-time massage school curriculum on July 1, 2001. Individuals may apply for a certificate of registration until the grandfathering exemption ends, but may not practice massage beyond the allowed grace period as provided for in Section 73-67-37 unless a valid massage therapy certificate of registration or provisional permit is obtained. Except as provided in subsection (5) of this section, all other pre-act practitioners and anyone not practicing massage therapy before January 1, 2001, must take and pass the registration examination and follow the requirements in this chapter to practice massage therapy for compensation in Mississippi.
(e) Students enrolled in a massage therapy curriculum of at least five hundred (500) hours on July 1, 2001, who complete graduation from the same curriculum.
(5) Any person who has practiced massage therapy for a period of more than twenty-five (25) years before the effective date of House Bill No. 890, 2005 Regular Session, who is employed as a massage therapist by a YMCA or YWCA authorized and existing as a nonprofit corporation under the laws of this state on the effective date of House Bill No. 890, 2005 Regular Session, is exempt from having to take any examination for registration, but must fulfill all other requirements as stated in this chapter, except for the requirements in subsection (3)(b), (d), (g) and (h) of this section. Persons exempt under this subsection may apply for a massage therapy certificate of registration until January 1, 2006, but may not practice massage therapy after January 1, 2006, unless a valid certificate of registration is obtained.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.