State Advocacy

Music Therapy Legislation Signed into Law!

Music Therapy Title Protection Created in Connecticut

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) are excited to announce that, on May 27, 2016, Governor Malloy of Connecticut signed into law HB 5537. This legislation includes language stating that music therapy services can only be provided by those who hold the MT-BC credential. Many thanks to the members of the Connecticut Task Force (Emily Bevelaqua, Jennifer Sokira, Courtney Biddle, Natalie McClune, and Heather Wagner) for all their work, dedication, and advocacy for this legislation.

Music Therapy License Created in Oklahoma

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) are excited to announce that, on April 26, 2016, Governor Fallin of Oklahoma signed into law HB 2820. This legislation creates a music therapy license under the State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision.

Many thanks to the members of the Oklahoma Task Force (Suzanne Heppel, Jennifer Voss, Amber Loomis, Heather Malcom, Rebecca Cantrell, Brandy Jenkins, Sophia Lee, and Hayoung Lim) for all their work, dedication, and advocacy for this legislation, and their commitment since 2006 to the state recognition process. Many thanks as well to Anne Roberts, Director of Legislative Affairs at INTEGRIS Health, as well as the music therapists from the southwestern region for their support of HB 2820.

Three states have successfully enacted music therapy licensure legislation.  On April 26, 2011, Governor Dalrymple of North Dakota signed into law SB 2271. This legislation created the first-ever music therapy license in the country through the Board of Integrative Health. Following close behind in the state recognition process was Nevada.  On Friday, June 3, 2011, Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada signed into law SB 190. This legislation creates a music therapy license in Nevada through the State Board of Health.  Georgia enacted music therapy licensure legislation in May of 2012 with Georgia bill SB 414 which was signed by Governor Nathan Deal.

Illinois Legislation Announcement

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) are excited to announce that, on Tuesday, August 18, 2015, Governor Bruce Rauner of Illinois signed into law SB 1595. As a study bill, this legislation creates a Music Therapy Advisory Group charged with exploring the feasibility of regulating music therapy practice in Illinois and submitting a report of its findings and recommendations to the state. Many thanks to the members of the Illinois Task Force (Nancy Swanson, Andrea Crimmins, Allison Gunnink, Stephanie Kleba, Melaine Pohlman, and Victoria Storm) and to all music therapists in Illinois for their work, dedication, and advocacy for this legislation.

Music Therapy License in Oregon Signed Into Law

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) are excited to announce that, on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, Governor Kate Brown of Oregon signed into law HB 2796. This legislation creates a music therapy license in Oregon through the Health Licensing Office. Many thanks to the members of the Oregon Task Force (Jodi Winnwalker-Chair, Lillieth Grand, Dawn Iwamasa, Laura Beer, Chris Korb, Ted Owen, Melissa Potts, and Adam Young) and to all the music therapists in Oregon for their work, dedication, and advocacy for this legislation.

Rhode Island Music Therapy Legislation Signed Into Law

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) are excited to announce that, on June 30, 2014, Governor Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island signed into law HB 7131.

This legislation creates a music therapy registry that will be administered by the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Many thanks to Nicole O’Malley, members of the Rhode Island Task Force (James Danna, Dalita Getzoyan, David Hirschberg, Crystal King, Linda Majewski, Teri Pimley, Kristi Rood, Jaye Watts), other key supporters and organizations (Cathy Andreozzi, Sue Baylis, Cris Brodeur, John Cronin, Kathy Dennard, Jennifer Hoskins, Kathleen Howland, Katie Little, Carol Manglass, Jennifer Sokira, Ella Whaley, The Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island, Easter Seals of Rhode Island), legislative champions (Reps. McNamara, Rep. Palumbo, Sen. Miller, Rep. Langevin), family members of Hands in Harmony, and to all the music therapists and music therapy advocates in Rhode Island and the New England region for your work, dedication, and advocacy for this legislation. Despite significant obstacles, the RI Task Force mobilized an incredible grassroots advocacy campaign and worked tirelessly to support this bill.

Their commitment to securing state recognition for music therapy will serve to benefit Rhode Island citizens by allowing them to more easily access music therapy services provided by qualified practitioners. 

North Dakota and Nevada Regulation

Music therapists from North Dakota and Nevada have been actively involved in the implementation of the AMTA and CBMT State Recognition Operational Plan.  The focus in these states will now move from the legislative process to the creation of regulations.  AMTA Government Relations staff and CBMT Regulatory Affairs staff will continue to provide guidance and assistance as each state implements these new licenses.  Many thanks to the members of the North Dakota Task Force (Andrew Knight, Natasha Thomas, and Emily Wangen), the members of the Nevada Task Force (Judith Pinkerton, Manal Toppozada, and Diane Bell) and to the Government Relations representative for the Western Region of AMTA (Rachel Firchau) for their work, dedication, and advocacy.

 


 

Implementation of AMTA and CBMT State Recognition Operational Plan

The on-going collaboration with CBMT to address the State Recognition Operational Plan has created a positive advocacy experience for music therapists. CBMT Regulatory Affairs Advisor, Dena Register, CBMT Regulatory Affairs Associate, Kimberly Sena Moore, and AMTA Director of Government Relations, Judy Simpson, continue to work together to facilitate state task force activity. There are currently 35 active task forces involved in state recognition efforts. Add to that number another eight states, which have completed some task force work or have received assistance with advocacy issues since beginning the operational plan in 2005, and the total rises to 36 states that have received state recognition support in 6 years.

Current economic issues have highlighted the importance of task forces being aware of how state budgets might impact the provision of music therapy services.  Unfortunately, we are not always successful in avoiding service delivery reductions or program cuts.  It has become evident to all, however, that having strong task forces in place makes the advocacy process much more effective.  Despite some of the challenges we have faced, it has provided an opportunity for more music therapists to become engaged in advocacy and actively contribute to state recognition projects.

Many clinicians and students have participated in advocacy training and State Legislative events coordinated by task force members.  Some state groups have successfully networked with parents, providers, and administrators to coordinate advocacy regarding proposed funding reductions.  Whether related to specific client groups or the profession as whole, other task forces have attempted to impact legislation and regulations through Committee hearing testimony or official comment submissions.  Several task forces are currently encouraging all music therapists to communicate with legislators through a systematic letter writing campaign, educating stakeholders about music therapy and inviting them to observe music therapy in action.

AMTA and CBMT have been highly involved in all of these endeavors, providing guidance, PR materials, advocacy PowerPoint sessions and template letters, research and reimbursement documents, organizational support letters, and technical assistance.

Many thanks are due to all of the members of the State Task Forces and Groups throughout the country for their dedication to pursuing state recognition opportunities.  They are to be commended for devoting a significant amount of volunteer hours in response to very time-sensitive and time-intensive activities.  In addition, AMTA would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Dena Register, Kimberly Sena Moore, and CBMT for the outstanding on-going collaboration that makes state advocacy a very positive and productive endeavor.  It is a pleasure to work with all of these professionals on this exciting operational plan.

 

 

Below is an update of state advocacy activities:

Go to State Updates in the Member Area

Go to Communicating with your State Legislators in the Member Area