Minnesota House of Representatives
Public Information Services

Menu

Public Information Services Menu

Proposal notes need for music therapy licensure

By Lee Ann Schutz
Lee McGrath, legislative counsel for the Institute for Justice, center, testifies in opposition to a bill sponsored by Rep. Jerry Newton, right, that would create music therapist licensure. University of Minnesota professor Edward Todd Schwartzberg, left, spoke in support of the bill. Photo by Andrew VonBank

Music can touch people in many ways, but when it is used as a form of therapy should there be more oversight and regulation of practitioners?

It is used in the treatment of autism, veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and patients with mental health issues, and Rep. Jerry Newton (DFL-Coon Rapids sponsors HF2366 that would lay out educational requirements, establish fees and create an advisory council to help establish standards for music therapy licensure and enforcement measures.

Newton told the House Subcommitee on Licensing that he’d like to see Minnesota become the eighth state to adopt licensing regulations.

Discussion of Rep. Jerry Newton's music therapist licensure bill

No action was taken, but supporters hope the bill could become part of a larger omnibus bill in 2016.

“Because we are going to have a short, fast, furious session, we want to get the bill moving as quickly as possible,” Newton said.

Those seeking to practice music therapy would be required to have a bachelor’s degree and complete an internship, said Edward Todd Schwartzberg, a professor in the University of Minnesota music therapy program. He said formalized music therapy licensure would help providers distinguish between the myriad of health care music options.

“We want to ensure that the public is protected if individuals present themselves as music therapists by requiring that these music therapists have met national standards of clinical practice,” he said.

Occupational licensing, however, puts unnecessary restraints on those seeking certain career paths, said Lee McGrath, legislative counsel for the Institute for Justice, which opposes most public licensure efforts.

“As far as I can tell, there is no public policy institution that supports this level of occupational licensing. …. You cannot say you are in favor of free markets and support occupational licensing,” he said.

Newton’s bill officially sits in the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee. Its companion, SF2197, sponsored by Sen. John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin), awaits action by the Senate Health, Human Services and Housing Committee.

Search Session Daily

Priority Dailies

House, Senate head toward lawsuit over governor's legislative funding veto

See you in court. That was the message Friday from Republican House and Senate leadership in ...

Weary lawmakers pass final budget bills, wrap 2017 special session

(UPDATED AT 3:27 p.m. with Gov. Dayton reaction) Day three of the 2017 special session saw la...

Recent Dailies

Judge rules Dayton’s veto of Legislative funding violated constitution

(Updated 3:19 p.m.) A Ramsey County judge on Wednesday ruled that Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-ite...

New laws on tap for July 1 include long-awaited Sunday sales

It took a special session, but the state government is funded for the 2018-19 biennium. The f...

Judge OKs legislative funding for 90 days

A Ramsey County judge has given the go-ahead for the House and Senate to remain operational until...

Dayton, legislative leaders have their day in court over funding issue

Lawyers for Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders met in a Ramsey County court Mond...

Legislative leaders will sue governor over line-item veto

Leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature are moving forward with their lawsuit against DF...

Governor still hopeful negotiations can solve legislative funding fight

Gov. Mark Dayton said Friday he remains hopeful his dispute with Republican legislative leaders o...

Dayton signs budget bills into law, but showdown with lawmakers continues

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton announced Tuesday he would sign into law nine budget bills that make up the ...

Lawmakers pass bonding bill to close out special session

With all other omnibus budget bills agreed to, the House wrapped up the special session early Fri...

Public Information Services  ·   175 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN 55155   ·   Public.Information@house.mn