Reflexology bill stalls

A bill to end licensing for reflexologists stalled on general file Jan. 29.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist38' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Dave Murman'>Sen. Dave Murman</a>
Sen. Dave Murman

LB347, as introduced by Sen. Dave Murman of Glenvil, would exempt reflexologists who limit their services to the application of hand pressure to the hands, feet and outer ears from licensure under the Massage Therapy Practice Act.

Murman said reflexologists still would need to follow the law and hold liability insurance, but requiring them to obtain a license is “meddlesome.”

“Reflexology is an ancient practice that has helped countless people,” Murman said. “There is no reason for a practice that has existed for centuries throughout the world to be regulated in Nebraska.”

Omaha Sen. Sara Howard initially spoke against LB347. She said that while she doesn’t believe reflexologists should have to obtain a license, a registry or certification should be required for them to become independent professionals.

“I agree that 1,000 hours [of education] to be a reflexologist is ridiculous, but I am concerned that if we exempt them, there is nothing,” Howard said.

Sen. Jim Scheer of Norfolk also opposed the bill, saying government has a duty to protect citizens.

“If someone is going to mess with your body, they should have some type of minimal training,” Scheer said. “I haven’t even looked at a YouTube for this and I have no idea what it is, but if we pass this I can become one.”

In response to opposition, Murman introduced an amendment that would create a reflexologist registry with the state Department of Health and Human Services and require practitioners to register and pay a fee.

Howard then said she would support the amendment and the revised bill.

Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha filed a series of procedural motions to delay debate on LB347. After three hours of discussion over two days, the Legislature moved to the next item on the agenda without voting on the Murman amendment or the bill.

Per a practice implemented by Scheer, the sponsor of a bill that is facing a potential filibuster must demonstrate sufficient support for a cloture motion before the measure will be scheduled for additional debate.

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