Why I Give To The IHRSA Industry Defense Fund - 2013 Legistlative Report

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The IHRSA Industry Defense Fund protects the health club industry from adverse legislative initiatives. I give every year and so should you. Here is a recap of what IHRSA did by lobbying in 2013.

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Why I Give To The IHRSA Industry Defense Fund - 2013 Legistlative Report

  1. 1. END OF SESSION REPORT How IHRSA grew, promoted and protected the health club industry in 2013. ® The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association | 70 Fargo Street | Boston, Massachusetts | 02210 IHRSA Advocacy Report 2013 - IHRSA.org/advocacy 800-228-4772 | IHRSA.org/advocacy
  2. 2. End of Session Report 2013 - IHRSA Victories IHRSA and its members defeated every piece of legislation that threatened the industry. Tracking IHRSA reviewed, tracked or monitored all105,042 bills introduced in state legislatures. ! 2
  3. 3. End of Session Report 2013 - IHRSA Opportunities Throughout 2013, IHRSA advocated for opportunities to drive more members into health clubs. This meant advocating for bills that would incentivize health club memberships, improve physical education, increase workplace wellness, and promote healthy lifestyles in general. Financial incentives for health club memberships or workplace wellness programs ! Improvements to physical education Policies that promote general wellness 3
  4. 4. End of Session Report 2013 - IHRSA State Activity IHRSA had lobbyists watching out for the interests of health clubs in 10 battleground states. In states without a lobbyist, IHRSA still monitored and tracked every single piece of legislation introduced. State Action Alabama Alaska IHRSA reviewed the 309 bills introduced to the Alaska legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Arizona IHRSA reviewed the 1,158 bills introduced to the Arizona legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Arkansas ! IHRSA reviewed the 1,176 bills introduced to the Alabama legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Sales Tax – IHRSA defeated a tax on tennis and racquet club memberships. IHRSA continues to seek opportunities to repeal the current tax on health club memberships. VICTORY 4
  5. 5. End of Session Report 2013 - IHRSA California Sales Tax – IHRSA worked with its lobbyist in Sacramento to closely monitor taxes on healthy lifestyles, having defeated proposals to tax health club memberships and personal trainer fees in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Child Care – IHRSA ensured that two bills, which sought to regulate childcare services at health clubs, did not impose additional burdensome requirements on health clubs. IHRSA’s lobbyist and IHRSA member clubs meet on an ongoing basis with state regulators to achieve clarity on the rules for health clubs and ensure consistency in how those rules are enforced. Personal Trainer Regulation – IHRSA worked with its lobbyist to ensure that personal trainers and health clubs would not be harmed by two bills that sought to regulate athletic trainers and physical therapists. Colorado IHRSA reviewed the 613 bills introduced in the Colorado legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Connecticut AED – IHRSA worked with its Hartford lobbyist to ensure that a flawed AED mandate that would increase the likelihood that clubs could face costly litigation was not introduced, as it has been in eight previous sessions. Contract Restrictions – IHRSA worked with its lobbyist to prevent the introduction of a bill that would have restricted the use of automatic renewal in certain service contracts, having exempted health clubs from the bill in 2012. Delaware IHRSA reviewed the 369 bills introduced in the Delaware legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Florida Bonding – IHRSA worked with its Tallahassee lobbyist to enact a law that decreases the amount of a health club’s requisite bond from $50,000 to $25,000. VICTORY Personal Trainer Regulation – IHRSA worked with its lobbyist to defeat legislation that would have imposed flawed licensure requirements on personal trainers in Florida, raising the cost of doing business for clubs and trainers and doing little to ensure safer sessions for consumers. VICTORY Georgia Contract Restrictions – IHRSA worked to ensure that a bill imposing new restrictions on automatic renewal provisions in service contracts did not impact clubs that automatically renew members on a month-to-month basis. AED – IHRSA worked to ensure that a flawed AED mandate that would increase the likelihood that clubs could face costly litigation was not re-introduced, after having defeated the bill in prior sessions. Hawaii Idaho ! Tax Credit – IHRSA supported multiple bills that would create tax incentives for employee wellness programs. IHRSA reviewed the 545 bills introduced in the Idaho legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. 5
  6. 6. End of Session Report 2013 - IHRSA Illinois Sales Tax – IHRSA and a coalition of member clubs prepared to fight a tax on health club memberships in 2013 after defeating a similar proposal during the 2012 session. The bill was not reintroduced this year, however, IHRSA and the coalition remain guarded against a tax on healthy lifestyles in the state as the 2013-2014 session continues. Child Care – IHRSA continues to work to protect health clubs from a bill requiring background checks for trainers and instructors that provide fitness services to anyone under the age of 17, in addition to day care center staff. Indiana Tax Credit – IHRSA supported legislation that would renew an Indiana tax credit program that was discontinued in 2011. The program allowed businesses with 100 or fewer employees to claim a tax credit for providing an employee wellness program. Iowa Sales Tax – IHRSA supported a repeal of the tax on health club memberships. Kansas Tax Exempt Competition – IHRSA worked with the Kansas Health and Fitness Association and an IHRSA Fund lobbyist to promote legislation that would provide for-profit health clubs with equal tax treatment as their not-for-profit competition. Contract Restrictions – IHRSA blocked the re-introduction of a bill proposing new restrictions on health club contracts. Kentucky IHRSA reviewed the 673 bills introduced in the Kentucky legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Louisiana IHRSA reviewed the 968 bills introduced in the Louisiana legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Maine IHRSA reviewed the 1,577 bills introduced to the Maine legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Maryland Bonding – IHRSA and its Annapolis lobbyist worked to remove the barrier health clubs have faced, since 2009, in complying with the state’s bond requirement. In June 2013, the attorney general issued a revised health club bond form. It omitted the language from the previous form that made surety companies unwilling to writes bonds, thereby preventing clubs from obtaining bonds. VICTORY Sales Tax/Tax Credit – IHRSA and a coalition of member clubs successfully prevented the re-introduction of legislation that would impose a sales tax on health club memberships and continue to work to promote bills that would create financial incentives for health club memberships. Massachusetts AED – IHRSA worked throughout 2013 to protect clubs from legislation that would remove essential liability protection for the “non-use” of an AED and subject health clubs to a much higher risk of litigation than under the current law. Contract Restrictions – IHRSA, with its Boston lobbyist, prevented the re-introduction of legislation that would impose onerous restrictions on health clubs’ use of automatic renewal clauses in membership contracts. Personal Trainer Regulation – IHRSA continues to work to ensure that any bill that aims to regulate personal trainers does so in a way that does not harm the industry or make fitness services more expensive for consumers. Michigan ! Sales Tax – IHRSA, working with its lobbyist in Lansing, successfully opposed the introduction of a bill that would impose the state’s sales tax on health club dues and/or services. 6
  7. 7. End of Session Report 2013 - IHRSA Minnesota Tax Credit – IHRSA worked with a coalition of Public Policy Council contributors and an IHRSA Fund lobbyist to enact an income tax deduction that will incentivize businesses to purchase health club memberships for employees. Waiver Liability – Led by a small coalition of Minnesota club operators and an IHRSA Fund lobbyist, the industry defeated a bill that proposed to severely limit health clubs’ use of liability waivers. VICTORY Mississippi IHRSA reviewed the 2,658 bills introduced in the Mississippi legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Missouri Sales Tax – IHRSA continued its work to repeal the state’s sales tax on health club membership dues, including launching a grassroots campaign calling for an end to the taxation of healthy lifestyles in Missouri. The repeal was not successful in 2013, but efforts for the cause will renew in 2014. Contract Restrictions – IHRSA prevented the introduction of a bill that would have severely restricted the use of electronic funds transfers (EFTs) by Missouri health clubs, having defeated it in 2012. Montana IHRSA reviewed the 1,049 bills introduced in the Montana legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Nebraska IHRSA reviewed the 655 bills introduced in the Nebraska legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Nevada IHRSA reviewed the 1,034 bills introduced in the Nevada legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. New Hampshire Contract Restrictions – IHRSA worked with the sponsor of a bill that would remove certain restrictions on health club contracts, in order to promote a better regulatory environment for New Hampshire health clubs. The bill was not enacted in 2013, but IHRSA continues to communicate with the sponsor and will renew efforts to support the legislation in 2014. New Jersey Contract Restrictions – IHRSA’s Trenton lobbyist, joined by IHRSA members, met on multiple occasions with the sponsor of legislation that would essentially allow club members to void a contract at any point, for any reason. IHRSA’s efforts prevented the passage of this bill that would impose such severe, harmful restrictions on health club membership contracts. VICTORY Personal Trainer Regulation – IHRSA prevented the advancement of harmful licensure requirements for personal trainers. VICTORY Sales Tax – IHRSA continues to work with its lobbyist and health club operators and members across New Jersey to identify and pursue opportunities to repeal the state sales tax on membership dues. New Mexico New York ! IHRSA reviewed the 1,317 bills introduced in the New Mexico legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Tax Credit – IHRSA is working with its Albany lobbyist and coordinating with state legislators to introduce and promote a tax benefit for the purchase of health club memberships. 7
  8. 8. End of Session Report 2013 - IHRSA North Carolina Sales Tax – IHRSA and North Carolina fitness professionals defeated a bill that would have imposed a sales tax on health club dues and services. After nearly 400 messages were sent to state lawmakers asking that they oppose a tax on healthy lifestyles, the legislature agreed on a tax reform package that expanded the reach of the sales tax, but not to health clubs. VICTORY North Dakota IHRSA reviewed the 842 bills introduced in the North Dakota legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Ohio AED – IHRSA is currently working to oppose a bill that would mandate AEDs in health clubs but fails to safeguard well-intentioned health club operators and employees from the risk of costly litigation. IHRSA is communicating with the sponsor and will seek to block the bill unless it is amended to contain necessary liability protections - use and non-use - for club owners and their employees, reasonable staffing requirements for staffed and unstaffed clubs, and adequate compliance time. Oklahoma Tax Credit – IHRSA worked to support a bill that is a modified version of the Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act and would create a state income tax deduction for the cost paid toward a health club membership. Contract Restrictions – IHRSA supported the enactment of a bill that exempts certain health club membership contracts from state regulation. VICTORY Oregon Facility Licensure – IHRSA defeated a bill that would have enabled local governments to enact regulations, establish licensing requirements, and administer an inspection program for all health clubs on a county-by-county basis. VICTORY Military – IHRSA supported the enactment of a law that goes into effect January 1, 2014 and that allows members of the military to suspend a health club contract if they are called into active duty. Tax Credit – IHRSA supported a bill that would have created financial incentives for employees to engage in a wellness program. Pennsylvania Sales Tax – IHRSA is working with its Harrisburg lobbyist and IHRSA health club members to prevent ongoing legislative efforts to impose the state sales tax on health club dues and services. Contract Restrictions – IHRSA worked with its lobbyist and lawmakers to prevent the reintroduction of a bill that would impose new requirements on sellers of service contracts with an automatic renewal provision. Rhode Island South Carolina Bonding – IHRSA worked to ensure that state regulators and legislators did not again consider changes to the state’s health club bond requirements, leading to increased amounts for the bonds that health clubs are obligated to obtain. South Dakota IHRSA reviewed the 492 bills introduced in the South Dakota legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Tennessee ! IHRSA reviewed the 2,389 bills introduced in the Rhode Island legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. IHRSA reviewed the 2,787 bills introduced in the Tennessee legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. 8
  9. 9. End of Session Report 2013 - IHRSA Contract Restrictions – IHRSA worked with its Austin lobbyist to prevent the re-introduction of a bill that would impose burdensome restrictions on automatic renewal provisions within consumer contracts, having defeated the bill in five previous legislative sessions. Texas Tax Credit – IHRSA Board members worked with IHRSA's lobbyist on creating legislation that would enact a business deduction for the cost associated with providing health club memberships to employees. Utah IHRSA reviewed the 685 bills introduced in the Utah legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Vermont IHRSA reviewed the 713 bills introduced in the Vermont legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Virginia Contract Restrictions – IHRSA worked with state lawmakers to protect clubs from a bill that would impose onerous regulation of initiation fees and membership deposits. VICTORY Washington IHRSA reviewed the 1,991 bills introduced in the Washington legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. West Virginia IHRSA reviewed the 1,829 bills introduced in the West Virginia legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Wisconsin IHRSA reviewed the 1,134 bills introduced in the Wisconsin legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. Wyoming IHRSA reviewed the 423 bills introduced in the Wyoming legislature in 2013 to ensure that none hurt health clubs’ bottom-lines. IHRSA also sought opportunities throughout the session to bring more members into health clubs. For questions on the information in this report, please contact IHRSA’s government relations team at gr@ihrsa.org or call (800) 228-4772. Also, view your state’s current activity online at ihrsa.org/state. ® ! 9

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