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Another Committee Approves Alaska YTT Legislation!

Last Updated: December 9, 2016



Legislation supported by Yoga Alliance® continues to advance in the Alaska Legislature! Today, the House Education Committee approved HB 305 without opposition! The bill, introduced by Rep. Lynn Gattis and co-sponsored by Rep. Cathy Munoz, would exempt yoga teacher training programs (YTTs) from unnecessary and burdensome regulation by the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE).

Today’s hearing in the House Education Committee highlighted the benefits of this legislation and showed the strong support this legislation has received from all stakeholders. Rep. Gattis explained the importance of the bill to her colleagues on the Education Committee, an Alaska yoga studio owner described the benefits for her small business, and the ACPE even testified that the bill would not reduce the consumer protections for Alaska YTT participants. After the testimony, the committee advanced the legislation with its full support. HB 305 will now move to the full Alaska House of Representatives for a floor vote.

This success in the House Education Committee comes shortly after achieving a similar milestone in the Alaska Senate. Earlier this month, SB 190—which has the same language as HB 305—passed through the Senate Education Committee without opposition. Yoga Alliance proudly supports the important legislation being considered in the Alaska Senate and House, and we are grateful for the continued support of legislators for the Alaska yoga community.

Help Build Momentum – Contact Your Legislators!

We need your help to keep building momentum to make sure the Alaska Legislature passes our legislation and Governor Walker signs it into law. You can help by contacting your state senators and representatives in support of HB 305 and SB 190. We want to extend a big thank you to all of the Alaska yogis who have already reached out to support this effort. Here’s how to help:

  1. Find Your Legislators. Find your legislators on the homepage for the Alaska State Legislature.  There is a box for your ZIP code in the lower right hand corner, under “Who Represents Me?”  Locate your representative in the Directory of the House and the Directory of the Senate.  Click on their picture to get to his/her page – your representative’s official email address is right at the top. 
  2. Share Your Story. Send a quick message asking for his/her support on HB 305 and SB 190. Feel free to explain why legislation to exempt YTTs from unnecessary regulation is important to you. Be sure to include your mailing address so your representative knows that you live in his or her district! 
  3. Get Your Friends, Family and Fellow Yogis Involved. Do your friends, family and fellow yogis also support Alaska’s yoga community? Ask them to send a message too! Share this article with anybody who may be interesting in supporting this cause.

We have provided two sample emails below to contact your Representative on the House bill (HB 305) and your Senator on the Senate version (SB 190). Feel free to use your own language as well. 

Subject Line: Vote YES on HB 305!

Dear Representative ___________________,

As your constituent, I am asking for your support on HB 305, an important bill that would protect the rights of yoga studios to operate in Alaska without unnecessary and burdensome regulation by the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE).

HB 305 would prevent the ACPE from requiring advanced yoga programs – known as yoga teacher training programs (YTTs) – around the state to pay expensive fees and to comply with unnecessary requirements in order to continue operation.

ACPE is only supposed to license occupational/vocational schools in Alaska, but YTTs are not occupational/vocational programs. In fact, most individuals who attend YTTs do not make a living teaching yoga, but rather, attend class for avocational reasons – like personal growth or practicing yoga with like-minded individuals. HB 305 seeks to protect this activity.

Further, many yoga studios that offer YTTs are small businesses with tight budgets. The fees and administrative requirements imposed by ACPE are hefty and harmful to these small businesses. HB 305 would support and grow Alaska’s vibrant yoga community.

Please support Alaska small business and the yoga community by voting “Yes” on HB 305.

Sincerely,
___________________



Subject Line: Vote YES on SB 190!

Dear Senator ___________________,

As your constituent, I am asking for your support on SB 190, an important bill that would protect the rights of yoga studios to operate in Alaska without unnecessary and burdensome regulation by the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE).

SB 190 would prevent the ACPE from requiring advanced yoga programs – known as yoga teacher training programs (YTTs) – around the state to pay expensive fees and to comply with unnecessary requirements in order to continue operation.

ACPE is only supposed to license occupational/vocational schools in Alaska, but YTTs are not occupational/vocational programs. In fact, most individuals who attend YTTs do not make a living teaching yoga, but rather, attend class for avocational reasons – like personal growth or practicing yoga with like-minded individuals. SB 190 seeks to protect this activity.

Further, many yoga studios that offer YTTs are small businesses with tight budgets. The fees and administrative requirements imposed by ACPE are hefty and harmful to these small businesses. SB 190 would support and grow Alaska’s vibrant yoga community.

There is no need for regulation. YTTs have been around for years, and we are not aware of a single complaint against these programs in Alaska. As the saying goes, “if it’s not broken, why fix it?”

Please support Alaska small business and the yoga community by voting “Yes” on SB 190.

Sincerely,
___________________

We’re proud to work on your behalf to protect our yoga community. If you have further questions, please contact us at yaadvocacy@yogaalliance.org or call us at 888-921-9642.

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