MAR Government Relations Report- Fall 2015


Respectfully Submitted:

Maria Hricko Fay, LSW, LCAT, MT-BC

Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery


1. California Bill #AB1279 – On July 6, 2015, this CA Bill passed out of the Senate Business and Professions Committee.

2. Federal Call to Action – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published the proposed rule: “Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities” (CMS-3260-P). The rule proposes revisions to the standards of care that nursing facilities must meet in order to receive federal funding. AMTA is asking MT’s to submit comments to CMS via email urging the agency to include music therapists as meeting the requirements of directors of activity within long term care facilities and specifically listing music therapy as a specialized rehabilitative service available to long term care residents. The deadline was extended to October 14, 2015. For more information please see:

3. AMTA Conference (#AMTA15) – Active MAR state task force members (ONLY), save the date! As a task force member, you are invited to the following FREE events that will take place at the AMTA conference in Kansas City, November 12-15, 2015.

  • 3-hour Task Force Bootcamp CMTE – Saturday, November 14 from 2:30-5:30 pm.
  • Task Force reception – Saturday, November 14 at 7:30 pm. 

More details about these events will be shared at a later date.



  • DE & SPED – In July, Representative Melanie George Smith began working with Matt Korobkin, the special education officer in charge of strategic planning and evaluation for the state of DE, to develop a recommendation that music therapy be included in a new state model for delivering services and education to children with special needs. Representative Smith and Mr. Korobkin are striving to recommend and implement a leading Special Education Model that specifies music therapy be included in every district.
  • There is interest in starting a task force in DE. If you are interested in becoming involved please contact Maria Hricko Fay at

MDSTF (Chair – Niki Runge and Tatyana Martin)

  • On October 5, 2015 the task force launched 15 Minutes of Advocacy. Maryland Music Therapists please assist in this task force initiative which will continue over the next 5 weeks. After completing one advocacy action per week (5 total), you will have written an introductory letter to your legislators. Look for the 15 Minutes of Advocacy in your email and on the Maryland Association Music for Music Therapy Facebook Page. This is a non-threatening way to become involved in the advocacy process, broken down into small, manageable steps. (Thanks to the NJSTF who began 15 Minutes of Advocacy in New Jersey. This process is being used around the country!)
  • The task force has been re-grouping with an almost new task force. Task Force members are beginning to gather as much information about state legislators focusing on chairs and co-chairs of special committees such as Education, Healthcare, Regulatory statutes, Budget, etc..
  • For more information contact: 

NJSTF (Chair – Paula Unsal)

  • NJ currently has identical bills A4353 in the Assembly and S2971 in the Senate, the Music Therapist Licensing Act. Both bills are in committees, which have to first approve the bill to pass on to the respective houses for a vote. Follow the bills here:
  • NJMT’s are meeting with assemblymen on the Regulated Professions Committee and senators on the Commerce Committee to garner support and ask for co-sponsorship. They are beginning to prepare testimony for the hearing.
  • Twitter Campaign – The task force is doing regular Tweets with #NJSTF. They are encouraging legislators to follow them and encouraging re-tweeting and favoring posts. Please follow, favorite, and re-tweet!
  • The task force has been responding to questions about the bills from New Jersey Music Therapists, Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners and the Alcohol and Drug Counselor committee regarding these bills.
  • For more information contact:

NYSTF (Chair – Donna Polen)

New York State Task Force on Occupational Regulation (NYSTF)

Respectfully submitted by Donna W. Polen, LCAT, MT-BC

Information current as of 10/8/15

The voting members of NYSTF, appointed by the MAR Executive Board, are: Ari Amir, MA, MT-BC; Clare Arezina, MME, MT-BC, CCLS; Beth R. McLaughlin, MSE, LCAT, MT-BC; Donna W. Polen, LCAT, MT-BC, Chair; and Tracy S. Wanamaker, MS Ed, MT-BC. Ex-officio members, without the right to vote, are: Rachel Reed and Rebecca Rossi, student members; Maria Hricko Fay, MSW/LSW, LCAT, MT-BC, MAR Government Relations Chair; Judy Simpson, MHP, MT-BC, AMTA Director of Government Relations; and Gabby Ritter, MMT, MT-BC, MAR President. NYSTF works closely with CBMT Regulatory Affairs Advisor, Dena Register, PhD, MT-BC, and CBMT Regulatory Affairs Associate Kimberly Sena Moore, MM, MT-BC, as well.

NYSTF is coming to your school!

Following a very stimulating workshop at SUNY New Paltz on Saturday, August 29, NYSTF is continuing our school road trip with follow-up workshops at the remaining four NYS schools. These workshops provide dedicated time for students followed by an afternoon workshop for students and professionals alike. We are very excited about the opportunity to continue to meet with students and dialogue with music therapy communities across the state. As dates are finalized, announcements will be sent out. And make sure to check out the fall issue of CBMT’s BC Status newsletter for more information about the New Paltz event! Gov relations pic IMG_0376 (1)

Medicaid and other service provision concerns

NYSTF continues to follow issues related to Medicaid regulations as well as other concerns related the provision of music therapy services in New York. As part of this, we supported advocacy through insuring a presence at several of the recent OPWDD Transformation Panel public forums. Thank you to Melissa Moon, MMT, LCAT, MT-BC who submitted a question and attended the forum in Syracuse, and to Andrea Barber, LCAT, MT-BC and NYSTF member Tracy Wanamaker, both of whom submitted questions and traveled to the forum in Plattsburgh only to find that it was canceled due to low enrollment. Wade Richards, LCAT, MT-BC attended the forum in Rochester as an audience member, and NYSTF Chair Donna Polen submitted a question and read a statement at this forum. If you attended a forum, please let us know! We will continue to provide updates as we receive more information.

As always, please contact the task force with any questions you may have regarding the LCAT and any music therapy related legislative, regulatory or advocacy issues. We can be reached at:

PASTF (Co-Chairs – Nicole Hahna, and Melanie Walborn)

  • Music Therapy Licensure Bill – HB 1438, sponsored by Representative Eddie Day Pashinski was introduced on July 6, 2015 and referred to the Professional Licensure Committee. As of this writing the bill has 23 co-sponsors. Follow the bill here:
  • SB 947 sponsored by Senator Teplitz and Senator Folmer was introduced on August 24, 2015 and referred to the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. As of this writing the bill has 10 co-sponsors. Follow the bill here:
  • These bills will create legislation that will protect Pennsylvania consumers of music therapy by ensuring that they are receiving safe and quality services by a clinically trained and educated healthcare provider and that only licensed and credentialed professionals can work as “music therapists” in PA. Furthermore, these bills will help Pennsylvanian families and employers locate professionally credentialed music therapists if they are in need of services.
  • The task force sends out monthly updates to PA MT’s though a system called Mail Chimp. If you’d like to receive these updates please contact the task force.
  • With the passing of the Music Therapy Resolution last October, October is Music Therapy Month in PA! How are you celebrating? The task force is planning their third annual Hill Day October 20-21, 2015 targeting visits with the Licensure Committee. PA Music Therapists and students consider taking part in this event to celebrate Music Therapy Month! You can earn 6 CMTE’s for $40! Check it out here!
  • The task force is also planning a LARGE Hill Day in Harrisburg at the Regional Conference. They would like to take advantage of the regional conference in Harrisburg and storm the PA State Capital with music therapists and students to show support for HB 1438 and SB 947. Look for information about ways to earn FREE CMTE’s at the regional conference and support the task force in this effort!
  • MAR would like to welcome new task force member Jennifer Swanson and student member Susan Dalessandro. We’d like to thank Anita Gadberry for her service to the task force as she steps down.
  • For more information or questions contact:

VASTF (Chair- Briana Priester)

  • This newly re-formed task force is researching the state regulations to see if any language needs to be updated, changed, or added.
  • The task force will be updating the state fact sheet. VA Music Therapists, PLEASE respond to the task force survey when it hits your inbox. This information is critical information to give state legislators for an accurate account of music therapy/music therapists in VA.
  • Task force member Tom Sweitzer met with Senator Jill Vogel who has expressed interest in supporting music therapy in VA.
  • For more information contact:

WVSTF (Chair – Amy Rodgers Smith)

  • The West Virginia Music Therapy Weekend will be in Morgantown on October 16-18. “Official” activities are planned for Saturday (10/17) including: a 3-hour CMTE. A celebratory meal to welcome Dr. Dena Register; and tour of WVU College of Creative Arts are also included in the weekend. Lodging is also available on Friday night and Saturday night for those who would like the additional fellowship time and/or rest for traveling.
  • Facebook – If you are from WV and want to stay connected with what is going on in your state, connect on Facebook to West Virginia Music Therapists.
  • For more information please contact: