Legislative Issues That Will Change Future Gym Operations

    Despite many states wrapping up their legislative sessions this month, we saw a lot of actions that could affect your business and members.

    September 20, 2023 Update: Since the bill's inception, the health and fitness industry has strongly pushed for Congress to #PassPHIT. The battle continues to this day. To participate in active campaigns, visit the IHRSA action center.

    Spring is here, and many states have been wrapping up their legislative work. In most cases this has been good news, as the majority adjourned without passing harmful pieces of legislation. Unfortunately, several states tried, and two states succeeded, in pushing through late changes that affect the industry.

    An Active Spring for States

    We were able to hold off bonding changes in Hawaii, a sales tax in Tennessee, and changes to the certification of personal trainers in Louisiana. Then—in the eleventh-hour—Kentucky pushed through a sales tax bill, and Vermont passed a law restricting auto-renew contracts. It has been an active spring, and it is not over yet.

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    Here's a look at the last month of legislative action at the state level. Be sure to log in to your state’s advocacy page for the latest legislative updates on issues that could affect your business and your members.

    On the Federal Front

    As you know, we were working to get PHIT into the omnibus spending bill. Unfortunately, PHIT did not make it in, but that was just one opportunity.

    The tremendous support from industry experts like you generated more than 3,500 messages to Congress in support of PHIT. Capitol Hill hears us. All of our efforts to promote PHIT have resulted in several bills before Congress including PHIT language.

    What we need to do now is get PHIT called up for a hearing by the House Ways and Means Committee. Having PHIT heard by the Committee will put it one step closer to being debated on the House or Senate floor.

    You can find out if your member of Congress is on House Ways & Means. If you see your member on the list—take action to get PHIT heard!

    Have a question or concern about legislative issues impacting the health and fitness industry across the country or locally? Email the IHRSA team. In the meantime, we’ll continue to analyze the action, so you know when to take yours.

    Author avatar

    Jeff Perkins

    Jeff Perkins previously served as IHRSA's Vice President of Governance & Public Affairs—a position that focused on monitoring and influencing legislation at the state and federal level to protect club business models and operations, and help promote the health benefits of exercise.