State Task Force

Colorado State Task Force

Update:

July 1, 2022

 

Dear Colleagues and Colorado Music Therapy community:

The music therapist title protection bill, HB-1399 was vetoed by Governor Polis at the end of the 2022 legislative session.

The Music Therapy State Task Force, and the entire music therapy community advocated ardently to seek title protection of the MT- BC credential during the 2022 legislative session. Much thanks and gratitude go to our bill sponsors Rep. David Ortiz and Rep. Andrew Boesenecker, who spoke passionately, and articulately about the important clinical work we provide to a wide variety of Coloradans seeking our services. 

We also offer much thanks and gratitude to our wonderful lobbyist, Alan Morse, and the unwavering support and attention from our national team at AMTA and CBMT.  Thank you to ALL who called, emailed and met with legislators to request their vote, and advocate for recognition of the MT-BC credential. 

Many of you know we have sought state recognition for over a decade now. HB 1399 was the closest we have come to crossing the finish line. Please know that the task force, and our greater team, did nothing wrong, and were highly professional and articulate in advocacy efforts, and written bill language. We met with various stakeholders, asked and answered relevant questions, and provided detailed information regarding our scope of practice, and the other states who have passed similar bills. We are very disappointed that the Governor’s veto was the final outcome after coming so close to the state recognition we have sought for so long. 

The task force, our bill sponsors, and national team will continue to work with our elected officials and state agencies to ensure that Coloradans receive music therapy services from an appropriately credentialed clinician. We WILL eventually find success with a future, stronger bill.  Legislators now know who we are, what we do, and we will work diligently to maintain the bipartisan support we had for HB 1399. The scope of the task force’s work will only widen and gain momentum. We are grateful to all of YOU who support the work of the task force. 

A Recap of HB Bill 1399:

HB 1399 passed out of the House Health committee (7-2)

HB 1399 passed the House with bi-partisan support  (45-17-3)
 

HB 1399 passed out of the Senate Health committee (5-1)

HB 1399 passed the Senate with bi-partisan support (23-11-1)

HB 1399 had the support of the Attorney General’s office.
The AG office directed us to use the criminal penalty that was attached to HB 1399. This bill would have made it a misdemeanor offense to call oneself
a music therapist without holding the MTBC credential.

The Governor’s office did not alert the task force, our lobbyist or our bill sponsors that they were planning to veto our bill until the session was over, and the bill was on the Governor’s desk for his signature.

The Governor did not agree with the misdemeanor criminal penalty that was attached to the bill. 

Additional information and explanation:

It is highly unusual for a bill to be vetoed with no prior warning by the Governor’s staff to the bill sponsors or lobbyist. 
Indeed, we were informed during the legislative session that the Governor’s office had “no issues” with HB1399. 

Our bill sponsors met with Governor Polis and his staff, advocating for our work with vulnerable populations and the need to recognize our professional credential; however, as the session ended, there was no room for negotiation with Governor Polis.

There are many political details and opinions on the Governor’s rationale for not wanting a criminal misdemeanor penalty attached to a title protection bill. 
Again, the creation of a misdemeanor offense was suggested by the AG’s office which oversees Title Protected professions. Other title-protected professions in Colorado DO have a criminal penalty attached to their state statute. 

Questions remain on the demise of HB1399, and the task force will continue to discuss these with our lobbyist and bill sponsors, and look for a way to move forward with a negotiated bill in the 2023 session.

Next steps: 

Throughout the Summer and Fall of 2022, the task force will work with our sponsors, the Governor’s office and DORA (Department of Regulatory Agencies) to gather information, and continue conversations on the potential to rework the bill with a civil penalty-which uses a monetary fine and no criminal misdemeanor- or move forward with a new bill. 

Although very disappointing, the task force, and our national AMTA and CBMT team is committed to moving forward for state recognition of the MT-BC credential. We will continue to improve and articulate the message of our work with vulnerable Coloradans and their families. We remain committed to our long term goal of seeking recognition of our credential and what it represents in terms of education and clinical acumen. 

I want to thank all of the Colorado Music Therapists on behalf of the state task force, our bill sponsors and the national team. Thank you colleagues, for your commitment to our profession and the clients you serve.

I personally invite your questions and thoughts on this process. Please reach out to me, or a task force member with any questions, concerns or desire to be involved in future legislative action. We are dedicated to representing music therapy in Colorado with integrity and professionalism. 

In gratitude, 
Amanda Brigham, MM, MT-BC

Owner, Colorado Music Therapy Services LLC

Chair, Colorado Music Therapy Legislative Task Force

amandabrigham.cmts@gmail.com

303-204-9286

In 2008, the Colorado State Task Force was established.  It consists of dedicated music therapists who work closely with the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) and the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) to increase state recognition of the MT-BC credential. 

The task force meets with legislators and state agencies to increase music therapy recognition, which will increase both funding for music therapy and access to services for Coloradans. Furthermore, the state task force partners with CAMT to establish a grassroots effort and rally Colorado music therapists together. 

Get Involved

The involvement of Colorado MT-BC's is essential to:

 

Understand the current state of the music therapy profession in Colorado and
 

Connect with community members, professionals, and legislators who will help advance the field of music therapy in Colorado

Contact the State Task Force today to get involved!

March is Music Therapy Month!
What you can do to support and celebrate Music Therapy Month

Join and get involved in AMTA and CBMT

Join and get involved in CAMT

Like the CAMT Facebook page

Join the Colorado Music Therapy Facebook group

Like the State Task Force Facebook page

Attend state, regional, and national conferences

 

Take an online CMTE or MT course

 

Network with fellow MT-BC's

 

Network with other professionals and advocate for MT

Give a presentation

Give your clients, facilities, and others with whom you work a copy of the MT Proclamation

 

Post the MT Proclamation on your Facebook page

Attend MT Hill Day at the Capitol. Check your task force news for info.

State Task Force Members
Task Force Liaison

Amanda Brigham, Chair

amandabrigham.cmts@gmail.com

Task Force Members

Becky Bressan, MT-BC becky.bressan@gmail.com


Amanda Brigham, MM, MT-BC, Chair amandabrigham.cmts@gmail.com


Renee De Luca, MT-BC rdeluca1997@gmail.com


Andrew Knight, Ph.D., MT-BC Andrew.Knight@colostate.edu


Cecily Meade, MM, MT-BC cmeade@it-nc.com


Melissa Munder, MT-BC melissa.munder@state.co.us


Alexander Powers, MA, MT-BC alex@denvermusictherapy.com


Leah Quiller, MM, MT-BC leah@ppmtco.com

Rebekah Stewart, MA, MT-BC rkstewart86@gmail.com


Amy Wilson, MT-BC comusictherapyservices@gmail.com


Sara Wise, MT-BC saraelwise@gmail.com

 
Colorado Association for Music Therapy (CAMT)