PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The panel that regulates who can deliver massages in South Dakota might be state government’s only board or commission with a rule specifically saying that fees must be paid in the form of “personal check, cashier’s check, certified check, or money order.”
Missing from the list? Credit cards, which have become a common method of payment in the age of e-commerce. On Wednesday, the state Board of Massage Therapy decided that the rule should be repealed.
The board’s executive director, Melissa Miller, said the office wants to be able to legally accept payments by credit card. The second sentence of the rule says, “The board may not take any action on any application for licensure, temporary permit, or renewal until the fee is received.”
In other words, payment by credit card currently isn’t allowed. Said Miller, “We should be taking every form of payment.”
The board’s past meetings often drew comments from license holders. But this time, during the public hearing, no one spoke as a supporter or an opponent, and no one sent written testimony beforehand.
“I’m definitely in favor of it,” the board’s new president, Fallon Helm of Aberdeen, said. The repeal passed on a 4-0 vote.
The pending change now goes to the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee for consideration on June 13. If the committee allows the repeal to proceed, the change then would take effect 20 days after the South Dakota Secretary of State receives it.
The Legislature established the board in 2005. The board had an estimated 945 licensees in 2023.
Miller told the four current members Wednesday that the governor hasn’t yet appointed a replacement to the seat that was held by the board’s previous president, Christine Ellwein of Pierre, whose appointment officially ended October 30, 2022.
“I know they’re working on it,” Miller said.