Bills A4353 and S2971 have been assigned to the Regulated Professions Committee and the Commerce Committee respectively. The next step will be hearings before these committees, which will give us an opportunity to state our reasons for support and hearings will also give any opposition a chance to state their position against approval of our bills as written.
The Task Force along with the assistance of music therapists Amy Clarkson, Erin Keenan, Kimberly Seeds and Kristen O’Grady have continued to meet with members of the committees and interested legislators to explain the need for a Music Therapist License and to ask for their support. While we have not been able to meet with everyone, at this time we have six of the nine members on the Assembly committee expressing support. We have only been able to meet with two of the six members on the Senate committee and that is even – one for and one against.
Meetings have resulted in increased sponsorship of our bills and we now have bi-partisan support for both bills. On the legislative site, the Assembly bill currently shows four Primary Sponsors and three Co-Sponsors. We have another request for sponsorship in process. On the legislative site, we now have two new co-sponsors, Senators Loretta Weinberg and Christopher Bateman and expect another sponsor to join as well.
The Task Force, in an ongoing process, will be alerting interested parties to the status of the hearings and to the various ways individuals can participate in these hearings. We look for participation outside the Task Force to contribute to the forward movement of our bills. While the process has slowed until elections are completed, we expect to forge ahead quickly after that and look forward to an enthusiastic response to our calls to action.