The Latest Fitness Industry Alerts & Policy Updates

    Know when to take action, protect your business from threats, and become a voice for the fitness industry.

    Want to know the latest advocacy news and information on key national and state issues impacting gyms, studios, and the fitness industry as a whole? Make sure you check your inbox for IHRSA’s Legislative Alerts or find it here in one streamlined location.

    Check back regularly for the latest updates, announcements, and more.

    [STATE] May 23, 2022: New York Passes Bill Expanding AED Requirements for Health Clubs

    S.5262, a bill which would increase the number of health clubs required to maintain a functioning AED on premises, was passed by the New York State Legislature and will proceed to the governor to be signed into law.

    The bill would reduce the membership threshold which requires health clubs to have a functioning AED on premises from 500 members to 50 members. The new law will go into effect 180 days after the governor signs it.

    IHRSA has been in contact with the Governor's office to express concerns about the cost for smaller operators and liability protections for situations where an AED is not used.

    IHRSA supports AED legislation that contains 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.

    [FEDERAL] May 19, 2022: Relief for Gyms Fails as Senate Small Business Relief Proposal Does Not Advance

    Today, the Senate failed to advance the latest small business relief package proposed by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Roger Wicker (R-MS). S.4008 contained a $2 billion grant program specifically for the health and fitness industry.

    Despite attracting support from both sides of the aisle with a 52-43 vote, the bill failed, as it did not accrue the 60 votes that are needed to advance a Senate bill for consideration.

    Through hard work and determination, our industry got the GYMS Act introduced and won over 150 bipartisan sponsors in the House of Representatives and another 30 in the Senate.

    The demonstration of congressional support, combined with earned press attention, helped us break through the noise in Washington, resulting in gyms being included in this package. None of this would have been possible without the work and support of all of you. WE THANK YOU.

    While we are disappointed by the outcome, we are heartened that our industry now has a voice and a seat at the table. We look forward to working with our new champions in the House and Senate to continue strengthening our voice in Washington and work to build a brighter future for the industry.

    [STATE] May 11, 2022: New Jersey to Consider Bill Regarding Online Health Club Contract Cancellation

    Lawmakers in New Jersey recently filed A.3892, a bill which would require any health club contract which is entered into online to also be cancellable by the buyer online. Upon request of the buyer, a health club must provide a direct link which the buyer can use to cancel the contract online.

    IHRSA will continue to monitor this bill and update you as it moves forward. IHRSA supports contract provisions that allow for automatic continuation of service at the end of the original term on a month-to-month, at-will basis, as they offer consumers increased choice and flexibility.

    [STATE] May 5, 2022: New York AED Bill Recommended for Passage by Committee

    S.5262, a bill we recently sent an alert on, would increase the number of New York health clubs required to maintain a functioning AED on premises. The bill was recommended for passage following a hearing in the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection.

    The current policy requires health clubs with 500 members to have a functioning AED on premises. S.5262 would reduce the membership threshold to require all health clubs with 50 members to have an AED.

    IHRSA supports AED legislation that contains 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. IHRSA has raised concerns on this bill about the liability protection for non-use situations and cost for small operators to purchase and maintain an AED.

    [STATE] May 5, 2022: Kentucky Legislature Overrides Veto, Passes Bill Expanding Sales Tax

    Lawmakers in Kentucky recently overrode the Governor’s veto to pass H.B.8, a bill which expands the state sales tax to include, “personal fitness training services,” among over 50 other services.

    The new law specifically refers to “personal fitness training services” as being subject to the 6% sales tax. The new tax will take effect on January 1, 2023.

    IHRSA opposes the imposition of sales taxes for health club memberships and services, as they discourage citizens from pursuing healthy lifestyles.

    [STATE] April 29, 2022: New York Senate to Hold Hearing on AED Bill

    S.5262, a bill which would increase the number of health clubs required to maintain a functioning AED on premises, is set for a hearing on Tuesday, May 3, at 11 a.m. in the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection.

    The current policy requires health clubs with 500 members to have a functioning AED on premises. S.5262 would reduce the membership threshold to require all health clubs with 50 members to have an AED. IHRSA supports AED legislation that contains 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.

    If you are interested in submitting testimony on this bill, please email your testimony directly to chair of the Consumer Protection Committee, Senator Kevin Thomas, at thomas@nysenate.gov.

    [STATE] April 19, 2022: California Bill Restricting Collection of Biometric Data Set for Hearing

    S.B.1189, a California bill that would restrict a business’s use of biometric information, is set for a hearing on Monday, April 25, at 10:30 a.m. PDT in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    The bill would require businesses which collect biometric information to develop a written policy made available to the public establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for destruction of the data. The businesses would be required to gain the customer’s written consent before the collection of any biometric data.

    Additionally, businesses are prohibited from selling, trading, using for advertising purposes, or otherwise profiting from an individual's biometric information. Businesses are further prohibited from sharing or disclosing biometric information without permission of the individual or in limited specified circumstances.

    This bill includes a private right of action which would entitle individuals to sue a business violating this act for up to $1,000 per day.

    IHRSA supports legislation that protects individuals, companies, and employees’ privacy while ensuring the continued development and use of technological innovation that enhances the consumer experience and management of clubs. IHRSA will be submitting testimony on this bill and encourage you to as well.

    [STATE] April 13, 2022: Tennessee Bill Regulating Automatic Renewal Contracts Signed Into Law by Governor

    H.B.1652, a Tennessee bill that would create new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts, was recently signed into law by the Governor.

    The new law requires all businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts in Tennessee to do the following:

    • Present the automatic renewal and cancellation terms in a clear and conspicuous manner prior to the consumer entering into the agreement.
    • Obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent prior to charging them for an automatic renewal.
    • Provide an acknowledgment that includes the automatic renewal offer terms or continuous service offer terms, cancellation policy, and information regarding how to cancel.
    • Allow the consumer to terminate the automatic renewal agreement online, if entered into online.

    This new law goes into effect January 1, 2023. The new law only impacts agreements entered into or renewed after that date.

    [STATE] April 12, 2022: Rhode Island Bill Regulating Automatic Charges Made by Health Clubs Held by Committee

    A Rhode Island bill we previously alerted you on, S.B.7242, which would regulate the auto-billing of members by health clubs, was held for further study by the Senate Commerce Committee. This means that the bill is not slated to proceed out of the committee at this time. However, the bill could be brought back into consideration this session.

    IHRSA opposes this bill as the effect would be to allow for cancellation of membership contracts for any reason with 30 days notice. Thank you to those who submitted testimony for the hearing on this bill last week. We will continue to work with our contacts in the Rhode Island State Senate to oppose the bill should it be brought back up for consideration.

    [FEDERAL] April 8, 2022: Washington Takes Action on Business Relief!

    The House passed a $55 billion COVID small business relief bill. The bill provides an additional $42 billion in funding for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and $13 billion for industry neutral grants directed to the hardest hit small businesses.

    While IHRSA is pleased to see the House acknowledge the need for relief, government shutdowns and operating restrictions were not industry neutral. We strongly believe that relief should be directed to the industries—such as fitness—that were uniquely affected by extended government imposed business closures and restrictions.

    More promising news comes from the Senate as Senators Cardin and Wicker unveiled their long-awaited small business relief package (S.4008). The Senate package would create a $2 billion grant program specifically for the health and fitness industry.

    As the House and Senate are officially off for Easter recess, now is the time to take action.

    We must rally Senate support for S.4008; it is especially important that we build support with Senate Republicans. Contact your Senators and ask them to support S.4008.

    [STATE] IMPORTANT: April 4, 2022: Hearing Set for Rhode Island Bill Regulating Automatic Charges Made by Health Clubs

    S.B.7242, a bill Rhode Island recently filed to regulate the auto-billing of members by health clubs, is set for a hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday, April 7, at 5 p.m. The House companion to this bill was previously passed.

    The bill would require health clubs which automatically deduct from a checking or savings account, a credit card, or a similar device on a regular schedule to do the following:

    • Cease charging the consumer within 30 calendar days of receiving notice from the consumer that they would like the automatic charge to be stopped.
    • Provide the consumer with notice of rate increases or substantial changes of service in writing within 60 days prior to the rate increase or service changes taking effect.

    If the health club is found guilty of violations, the consumer would not be responsible for any further charges and may terminate their contractual agreement from the date of the violation. In addition to a fine of up to $1,000 to the health club.

    IHRSA opposes this bill as the effect would be to allow for cancellation of membership contracts for any reason with 30 days notice. IHRSA will be submitting testimony in opposition to this bill and we encourage you to as well. Please email your testimony to slegislation@rilegislature.gov in advance of the hearing.

    [STATE] March 30, 2022: Idaho Bill Regulating Automatic Renewal Contracts Passed Into Law, Signed by Governor

    S.1298, a bill that creates new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts, was previously passed by both the Idaho State Senate and the Idaho House of Representatives. The Governor signed the bill into law and it will take effect January 1, 2023.

    The new law requires businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts to clearly and conspicuously disclose the automatic renewal offer terms and the methods that the consumer may use to cancel the subscription.

    Automatic renewal contracts are defined as an agreement entered into via the internet to provide goods or services to an Idaho consumer for a specified time and price that is automatically renewed at the end of a definite term for a subsequent term unless the consumer cancels the agreement.

    The new law ONLY requires notification of the automatic renewal if the period of the automatic renewal is longer than 12 months.

    [STATE] March 29, 2022: Take Action! Kentucky Bill Requiring Notification Before Auto-Renewal Passes House

    The Kentucky House of Representatives passed H.B.106, a bill that would amend current law to regulate businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts. The bill will now proceed to the State Senate for consideration.

    The bill would require businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts to:

    • Present the automatic renewal and cancellation terms in a clear and conspicuous manner prior to the consumer entering into the agreement.
    • Obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent prior to charging them for an automatic renewal.
    • Provide an acknowledgment that includes the automatic renewal offer terms or continuous service offer terms, cancellation policy, and information regarding how to cancel.
    • Allow the consumer to terminate the automatic renewal agreement online, if entered into online.
    • Notify the consumer of the recurring charge between 30 and 60 days prior to the charge if the automatic renewal period is longer than 30 days.

    IHRSA has created a one-click campaign for you to take action. Tell your Kentucky lawmakers that this bill is bad for health clubs and shouldn’t pass.

    [STATE] March 25, 2022: Rhode Island to Consider Bill Regulating Automatic Charges Made by Health Clubs

    Lawmakers in Rhode Island recently filed S.B.7242, a bill to regulate health clubs automatically billing members.

    The bill would require health clubs which automatically deduct from a checking or savings account, a credit card, or a similar device on a regular schedule to do the following:

    • Cease charging the consumer within 30 calendar days of receiving notice from the consumer that they would like the automatic charge to be stopped.
    • Provide the consumer with notice of rate increases or substantial changes of service in writing within 60 days prior to the rate increase or service changes taking effect.

    [STATE] March 24, 2022: Update: Virginia Bill Regulating Online Cancellation of Automatically Renewing Contracts Exempts Health Clubs

    Further review of H.B.78, a bill which regulates the cancellation of automatically renewing contracts in the state and was recently passed by both houses of the Virginia legislature, reveals the passed bill does not impact health club contracts in Virginia.

    The bill makes changes to the currently existing Consumer Protection Statute in Virginia to regulate businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts. The changes made by the bill do NOT affect the exemptions section of the automatic renewal chapter of law. Health clubs in Virginia are specifically exempt from this chapter due to regulation under an entirely separate health club-specific statute.

    We apologize for any confusion on the issue.

    [STATE] March 24, 2022: Maryland Bill Restricting Collection of Biometric Data Passes House

    H.B.0259, a bill to regulate the collection of biometric data in Maryland, was recently passed by the Maryland House of Delegates and will now proceed to the State Senate for consideration. The bill would require businesses which collect biometric information to develop a written policy made available to the public establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for destruction of the data.

    Additionally, businesses are prohibited from selling, trading, or otherwise profiting from an individual's biometric identifiers—e.g., fingerprints, retina scans, facial scans, and iris scans—or information. Businesses are further prohibited from sharing or disclosing without permission of the individual or in limited specified circumstances.

    This bill includes a private right of action which would entitle individuals to sue a business violating this act for up to $1,000 for each negligent violation and $5,000 in damages for each intentional or reckless violation.

    IHRSA has submitted testimony on this bill in the past. We will continue to monitor this bill and will provide you with more information as it moves forward. We will update you on potential advocacy opportunities related to this bill in the future.

    [STATE] March 21, 2022: Michigan Files Bill Regulating Automatic Renewal Contracts

    Lawmakers in Michigan have filed a bill that would create new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts. H.B.5933 would require businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts to issue a disclosure statement in the contract written in at least 10-point type that includes the following:

    • That the contract will automatically renew if the consumer agrees to the contract.
    • The length of the initial term and renewal period of the contract.
    • The amount to be charged to the consumer for the initial term of the contract and any subsequent renewal periods.
    • The procedure by which the consumer may cancel the contract at the end of the initial term of the contract or any renewal period.
    • An email address, mailing address, toll-free telephone number, or other cost-effective, timely, and easy-to-use mechanism that the consumer may use to cancel the contract.

    The bill would also require businesses which issue automatic renewal contracts to allow the consumer to cancel the contract exclusively online if the contract was entered into online.

    Additionally, a business would be required to issue a written or electronic notice between 30 and 60 days in advance of the automatic renewal if the renewal period is longer than two months.

    [STATE] March 21, 2022: California Bill Restricting Collection of Biometric Data Set for Hearing

    S.B.1189, a bill in California that would restrict a businesses’ use of biometric information, is set for a hearing on Tuesday, April 5, at 1:30 p.m. PDT.

    The bill would require businesses which collect biometric information to develop a written policy made available to the public establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for destruction of the data. The businesses would be required to gain the customer’s written consent before the collection of any biometric data.

    Additionally, businesses are prohibited from selling, trading, using for advertising purposes or otherwise profiting from an individual's biometric information. Businesses are further prohibited from sharing or disclosing biometric information without permission of the individual or in limited specified circumstances.

    This bill includes a private right of action which would entitle individuals to sue a business violating this act for up to $1,000 per violation per day.

    [STATE] March 14, 2022: Virginia Bill Regulating Online Cancellation of Automatically Renewing Contracts Passed

    Passed by both Houses, H.B.78, a bill that we previously alerted on which would regulate the cancellation of automatically renewing contracts in Virginia, has been voted out of conference committee and will now proceed to the Governor for signature.

    The bill would require a business which uses automatically renewing contracts to make available a conspicuous online option to cancel a recurring purchase of a good or service if the purchase was made online.

    The latest round of amendments removed the need for the online cancellation option to be on the same website where the contract was entered into.

    Past amendments removed regulations on free trials. Previously, the bill would have required a company offering a free trial of products or services to:

    • Include an acknowledgement disclosing how to cancel the free trial.
    • Notify the consumer of the automatic renewal within seven days of the free trial period expiration date.
    • Obtain the consumer's affirmative consent to the automatic renewal beyond the free trial before the consumer becomes obligated to pay for the goods or services.

    [STATE] March 11, 2022: Massachusetts Consumer Protection Committee Combines Various Health Club Bills Into Large Committee Bill

    Five bills that would impact health clubs and health club contracts were recently combined into a large committee bill. The bill, H.4510 would require health clubs in the state issuing contracts to do the following:

    • Present automatic renewal offer terms in clear and conspicuous manner. If the offer includes a free gift or trial, include the price to be charged after the trial ends.
    • Obtain the customer’s written affirmative consent to the automatic renewal terms.
    • Provide a written acknowledgment that includes the automatic renewal or continuous service offer terms, cancellation policy, and information regarding how to cancel.

    The bill would also amend current law regarding the cancellation of health club contracts and change health club bonding regulations in the state. A full summary of these changes is available in the Legislative Alert.

    IHRSA will continue to actively monitor this bill, and we are working with the Committee and House Leadership to make changes. We will provide you with further information and advocacy opportunities moving forward.

    [STATE] March 10, 2022: Ohio Considers Bill to Lift Sales Tax for Nonprofit Clubs

    Ohio state legislators have introduced H.B.595, a bill which would exempt fitness facilities operated by a nonprofit organization from the state sales tax.

    Currently, health club memberships at both for-profit and non-profit fitness facilities are subject to the Ohio state sales tax. H.B.595 would eliminate sales tax at facilities maintaining 501(c)3 tax-exempt status with the IRS.

    IHRSA opposes taxes on health club memberships and services, as they discourage citizens from pursuing healthy lifestyles. Any effort to repeal the sales tax should benefit the consumer, no matter where they choose to exercise; whether at a non-profit or for-profit club.

    [STATE] March 10, 2022: Idaho Bill Regulating Automatic Renewal Contracts Passes Senate

    The Idaho State Senate recently passed S.1298, a bill that would create new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts in Idaho. The bill will now proceed to the House for consideration.

    The bill would create a new section of the law requiring businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts to clearly and conspicuously disclose the automatic renewal offer terms and the methods that the consumer may use to cancel the subscription.

    Additionally, if the period of the automatic renewal is longer than six months, the business must provide written notice to the consumer at least 30 days and no more than 45 days in advance of the automatic renewal.

    [STATE] March 10, 2022: Michigan to Consider Bill Regarding Health Club Contract Cancellation

    Lawmakers in Michigan recently filed S.B.952, a bill which would require all automatically renewing contracts issued by health clubs in the state to be cancelled online.

    IHRSA will continue to monitor this bill and update you as it moves forward. IHRSA supports contract provisions that allow for automatic continuation of service at the end of the original term on a month-to-month, at-will basis, as they offer consumers increased choice and flexibility.

    [STATE] March 10, 2022: Florida House Passes Bill to Create Sales Tax Holiday

    The Florida House of Representatives passed H.B.7071, a bill to create a sales tax holiday for specific purchases in the state. The bill will now proceed to the Senate for consideration.

    Per the bill, during “Freedom Week,” which will run July 1-7, 2022, sales tax will not be collected on purchases for admission to private or membership clubs that provide physical fitness facilities from July 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022.

    IHRSA supports the lifting of sales taxes for health club memberships and services, as they discourage citizens from pursuing healthy lifestyles.

    [FEDERAL] March 9, 2022: Congress Turns Its Back on America’s Gyms and Other Hardest Hit Businesses

    Congressional leaders have come to an agreement on an omnibus spending bill to fund the government. Despite a fierce lobbying effort by IHRSA, our coalition partners, industry professionals, and our champions on Capitol Hill, the agreement does NOT include any direct relief for gyms or any other hard hit businesses impacted by COVID. The agreement also fails to reinstate the Employee Retention Tax Credit for the fourth quarter of 2021.

    Although financial relief for our industry was broadly popular in Congress, and was included in a business relief package proposed by Senator Cardin (D-MD), the effort could not overcome a bloc of strong resistance to additional COVID-related spending.

    We will continue to look for alternative avenues for relief, despite a waning congressional appetite for the issue. We will also increase our advocacy activities related to the PHIT Act, which would stimulate growth for the industry moving forward.

    Thank you for all of your support. Together, we’ve created a foundation of lobbying and grassroots outreach that will support the industry’s trajectory toward becoming a true advocacy powerhouse.

    [STATE] March 9, 2022: New Jersey Legislators Introduce Bill Impacting Health Club Memberships During Infectious Disease Outbreaks

    New Jersey State Lawmakers recently introduced Assembly Bill A.3297 which would require health club contracts to contain certain provisions regarding membership cancellation and suspension procedures during an outbreak of infectious disease. This bill was previously introduced during the 2020 legislative session in the state.

    Under the bill, a health club service contract must include the following provisions regarding the facility's procedures in the event it is closed due to a state of emergency or public health emergency declared by the Governor in response to an outbreak of infectious disease:

    • Health clubs must provide notice to the buyer regarding the closing and reopening of the facility and the buyer's payment obligations;
    • Allow the buyer to place their health club membership on hold until the state of emergency or public health emergency is lifted by the Governor;
    • Allow the buyer to cancel their health club membership due to health concerns without any cancellation fee or termination penalty.

    The bill defines "outbreak" to mean any unusual occurrence of disease or any disease above background or endemic levels. The legislation will now be referred to an Assembly Committee.

    [STATE] March 4, 2022: Updated Health Club Consumer Protection Law in Connecticut

    Technical changes to the Connecticut Consumer Protection statutes require health clubs operating in the state to update their contracts as soon as possible.

    The updated statutes require:

    • Notice of automatic renewal be provided to the consumer on the first page of a contract which automatically renews in bold 14-point type.
    • The required “buyer’s right to cancel” language must include an email address as a method of cancellation within three days of purchase.

    This change has already taken effect and operators in the state should update their contracts moving forward. This PDF outlines the changes to the required contract language.

    [STATE] March 4, 2022: Virginia Bill Regulating Online Cancellation of Automatically Renewing Contracts Amended in Committee, Passes Senate

    H.B.78 a bill that we previously alerted you on which would regulate the cancellation of automatically renewing contracts in the state, was recently amended and passed by the Virginia Senate. This bill previously passed the Virginia House of Delegates and will now proceed to a conference committee.

    The bill would require a business which uses automatically renewing contracts to make available a conspicuous online option to cancel a recurring purchase of a good or service if the purchase was made online.

    The latest round of amendments removed the need for the online cancellation option to be on the same website where the contract was entered into.

    [STATE] March 4, 2022: Kentucky Considers Bill Restricting Collection of Biometric Data

    Lawmakers in Kentucky are considering a bill restricting businesses’ use of biometric identifiers. Biometric identifiers are a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or record of hand or face geometry.

    H.B.626 would require businesses which collect biometric identifiers to inform the customer about the collection and obtain the customer’s consent before the collection of any biometric identifiers.

    Additionally, businesses are prohibited from selling, leasing, or otherwise disclosing an individual's biometric identifiers or information without permission of the individual or in limited specified circumstances.

    Finally, the bill would require a business which stores biometric identifiers to destroy the data within one year after the purpose for collection has expired. Enforcement of this act would be carried out by the State Attorney General and violators would be subject to a civil fine.

    IHRSA supports legislation that protects individuals, companies, and employees’ privacy while ensuring the continued development and use of technological innovation that enhances the consumer experience and management of clubs. We are monitoring this bill and will provide you with more information as it moves forward. We will update you on potential advocacy opportunities related to this bill in the future.

    [STATE] February 18, 2022: California Considers Bill Restricting Collection of Biometric Data

    Lawmakers in California are considering a bill restricting businesses’ use of biometric information. Biometric information is defined in the bill as a person’s physiological, biological, or behavioral characteristics that can be used to establish individual identity. Biometric information includes, but is not limited to, fingerprints, retina scans, facial scans, iris scans, voiceprints, keystroke patterns, gait patterns and sleep, health or exercise data that contains identifying information.

    S.B.1189 would require businesses which collect biometric information to develop a written policy made available to the public establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for destruction of the data. The businesses would be required to gain the customer’s written consent before the collection of any biometric data.

    Additionally, businesses are prohibited from selling, trading, using for advertising purposes, or otherwise profiting from an individual's biometric information. Businesses are further prohibited from sharing or disclosing biometric information without permission of the individual or in limited specified circumstances.

    This bill includes a private right of action which would entitle individuals to sue a business violating this act for up to $1,000 per violation per day.

    IHRSA supports legislation that protects individuals, companies, and employees’ privacy while ensuring the continued development and use of technological innovation that enhances the consumer experience and management of clubs.

    [STATE] February 17, 2022: Tennessee Bill Regulating Automatic Renewal Contracts Recommended for Passage, Companion Bill Set for Hearing

    H.B.1652, a bill that would create new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts in Tennessee, was recently recommended for passage by the House Banking and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee.

    The bill’s Senate companion S.B.2279 is set for a hearing in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on February 22 at 1 p.m. CST.

    The bill would amend current law to require businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts to:

    • Present the automatic renewal and cancellation terms in a clear and conspicuous manner prior to the consumer entering into the agreement.
    • Obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent prior to charging them for an automatic renewal.
    • Provide an acknowledgment that includes the automatic renewal offer terms or continuous service offer terms, cancellation policy, and information regarding how to cancel.
    • Allow the consumer to terminate the automatic renewal agreement online if entered into online.

    IHRSA will be submitting testimony on this bill and encourage you to as well. Please email written testimony to Committee Chair Paul Bailey at sen.paul.bailey@capitol.tn.gov in advance of the hearing.

    [STATE] February 17, 2022: Rhode Island Bill Regulating Automatic Charges Made by Health Clubs Passed by House

    H.B.6659, a bill to regulate the auto-billing of members by health clubs in Rhode Island, was passed by a vote on the House floor. The bill will now proceed to the Senate for consideration.

    The bill would require health clubs which automatically deduct from a checking or savings account, a credit card, or a similar device on a regular schedule to do the following:

    • Cease charging the consumer within 30 calendar days of receiving notice from the consumer that they would like the automatic charge to be stopped.
    • Provide the consumer with notice of rate increases or substantial changes of service in writing within 30 days prior to the rate increase or service changes taking effect.

    If the health club is found guilty of violations the consumer would not be responsible for any further charges and may terminate their contractual agreement from the date of the violation. In addition, the health club faces a fine of up to $1,000.

    IHRSA continues to oppose this proposal. We have already been in contact with the Rhode Island Senate and have had encouraging conversations with Senate leadership. We will continue to oppose the legislation and provide you with updates and advocacy opportunities moving forward.

    [STATE] February 17, 2022: West Virginia Bill Regulating Automatically Renewing Contracts Passes Senate

    S.B.33, a bill that would create new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts recently passed the West Virginia Senate and has been sent to the House of Delegates for consideration.

    The bill would amend current law to require businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts to:

    • Present the automatic renewal and cancellation terms in a clear and conspicuous manner prior to the consumer entering into the agreement.
    • Obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent prior to charging them for an automatic renewal.
    • Remind the consumer of the recurring charge—if the charge is made once a year or less frequently—30 days prior to the charge.

    Additionally, this bill includes a cure process which would allow the business to correct the violation and avoid a penalty if the violation is corrected within 30 days of the business receiving the notice and the consumer accepts the cure.

    IHRSA will continue to actively monitor this bill and provide you with further information and advocacy opportunities. IHRSA supports contract provisions that allow for automatic continuation of service at the end of the original term on a month-to-month, at-will basis, as they offer consumers increased choice and flexibility.

    [STATE] February 15, 2022: Idaho Files Bill Regulating Automatic Renewal Contracts

    Lawmakers in Idaho have introduced a bill that would create new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts.

    S.1298, would create a new section of the law requiring businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts to clearly and conspicuously disclose the automatic renewal offer terms and the methods that the consumer may use to cancel the subscription.

    Additionally, if the period of the automatic renewal is longer than six months, the business must provide written notice to the consumer at least 30 days and no more than 45 days in advance of the automatic renewal. The notice must clearly and conspicuously:

    • Describe the goods or services to be delivered;
    • State the price;
    • Inform the consumer that the goods or services will be provided unless the consumer informs the seller that the goods or services are not wanted;
    • Provide the consumer with at least two methods of cancellation, including at least one that shall be provided at no cost to the consumer.

    IHRSA will continue to actively monitor this bill and provide you with further information and advocacy opportunities. IHRSA supports contract provisions that allow for automatic continuation of service at the end of the original term on a month-to-month, at-will basis, as they offer consumers increased choice and flexibility.

    [STATE] February 15, 2022: Lawmakers in Maryland Propose Bill Requiring AEDs in Health Clubs, Set for Hearing

    Legislators in Maryland recently filed S.B.0924, a bill which would require health clubs to maintain a functional automatic external defibrillator (AED) on site. Additionally, at least one employee must be present while the business is open who is certified in first aid and CPR.

    The bill also contains appropriate use and non-use liability protections.

    IHRSA supports AED legislation that contains 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.

    This bill is set for a hearing in the Maryland Senate Finance Committee at 1 p.m. on Thursday, February 17. IHRSA will be submitting testimony seeking an amendment to this bill to change the requirements for staffing to “staffed business hours” instead of whenever the business is open. If you are interested in submitting testimony, you can do so by creating an account on the Maryland General Assembly’s website and following the instructions provided by the committee here.

    [STATE] February 15, 2022: Oklahoma Bill Regulating Automatic Renewal Contracts Recommended for Passage by Committee

    S.B.1308, a bill that would create new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts was recommended for passage by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    The bill would create a new section of the law requiring businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts to:

    • Present the automatic renewal offer in a clear and conspicuous manner prior to the consumer entering into the agreement.
    • Provide an acknowledgement that includes the terms of the offer and information regarding how to cancel the automatic renewal.
    • Provide a cost-effective, timely, and simple procedure for cancellation of the automatic renewal.

    Additionally, if the period of the automatic renewal is longer than six months, the business must provide written notice to the consumer at the end of the contract term stating that the purchaser may cancel the contract and avoid automatic renewal.

    IHRSA will continue to actively monitor this bill and provide you with further information and advocacy opportunities. IHRSA supports contract provisions that allow for automatic continuation of service at the end of the original term on a month-to-month, at-will basis, as they offer consumers increased choice and flexibility.

    [STATE] February 11, 2022: Support Michigan H.B.5524: Relief for Gyms & Fitness Centers

    The Michigan Fitness Club Association has succeeded in getting the Michigan House Appropriations Committee to introduce a bill (H.B.5524) that would create a $53m fund to provide targeted relief (grants) to gyms and fitness centers!

    The bill passed the Michigan House and is now in the Michigan Senate.

    Take Action NOW! Tell your State Senator to support H.B. 5524!

    [STATE] February 9, 2022: Maine Bill Restricting Collection of Biometric Data Set for Hearing

    L.D.1945, a bill which we previously alerted you on, is set for a hearing in the Maine Joint Committee on Judiciary on Tuesday, February 22, at 9 a.m. EST.

    The bill would require businesses which collect biometric identifiers to develop a written policy made available to the public establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for destruction of the data. The data must be permanently destroyed either after the purpose of collecting the data has been satisfied or up to one year after the individual’s last intentional interaction with the business, whichever occurs first. The business must also obtain the individual’s affirmative written consent prior to collecting biometric identifiers.

    Upon request of an individual, a business that collects or possesses biometric data on that individual shall disclose to the individual free of charge any biometric identifiers associated with that individual, the method of capture and any third-party with which the biometric identifier was shared.

    IHRSA will be submitting testimony on this bill and encourage you to as well. You can submit written testimony by following the instructions on the Maine Legislature’s website.

    [STATE] February 9, 2022: Connecticut Considers Exempting Health Club Services From Sales Tax

    Lawmakers in Connecticut recently filed H.B.5021, which would lift the state sales tax on health club services.

    IHRSA supports the lifting of sales taxes for health club memberships and services, as they discourage citizens from pursuing healthy lifestyles. We will continue to update you on the bill as it moves through the legislative process and on any potential advocacy opportunities in the future.

    If you have questions about this or other legislative issues affecting the health club industry in Connecticut, please feel free to contact Jake Landry, IHRSA’s public policy assistant.

    [STATE] February 4, 2022: Illinois Bill Further Regulating Automatic Renewal Contracts Set for Hearing

    S.B.3447, a bill that would further regulate automatically renewing contracts in the state, is set for a hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday, February 10 at 8:30 a.m. CST.

    The bill would amend Illinois’ current automatically renewing contract law to require businesses to:

    • Disclose the automatic renewal clause clearly and conspicuously both in the contract and during the process by which a consumer enters into the contract.
    • Obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent to the automatic renewal terms during the contract formation process.

    If the initial term of the contract is one year or longer and renews for a period longer than one month, the business must include in the notification to the consumer the dollar amount to be charged, length of the renewal term and a link that directs the consumer to the cancellation process. The written notification requirement is already part of Illinois law.

    IHRSA previously submitted testimony on this bill and will do so again for this hearing. If you are interested in submitting testimony on this bill as well, please do so by filling out a witness slip on the Illinois General Assembly’s homepage.

    [STATE] February 4, 2022: Oklahoma Bill Regulating Automatic Renewal Contracts Set for Hearing

    S.B.1308, a bill that would create new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts is set for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, February 8, at 10 a.m. CST.

    The bill would create a new section of the law requiring businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts to:

    • Present the automatic renewal offer in a clear and conspicuous manner prior to the consumer entering into the agreement.
    • Provide an acknowledgement that includes the terms of the offer and information regarding how to cancel the automatic renewal.
    • Provide a cost-effective, timely, and simple procedure for cancellation of the automatic renewal.

    Additionally, if the period of the automatic renewal is longer than six months, the business must provide written notice to the consumer at the end of the contract term stating that the purchaser may cancel the contract and avoid automatic renewal.

    IHRSA will be submitting testimony in opposition to this bill. If you are interested in submitting testimony, please contact the Judiciary Committee Chair, Senator Julie Daniels, at daniels@oksenate.gov.

    [STATE] February 2, 2022: California to Consider Bill Regulating Children's Camps

    Lawmakers in California recently introduced A.B.1737, a bill which would drastically expand the definition of camps in the state and apply new regulations to most day camps.

    The bill proposes to change the terminology used in California law from “organized camp” to “children’s camp." The new definition for “children’s camp” would drastically expand the definition of camps and apply regulations to far more camps than are currently regulated in the state.

    If this bill passed, many regulations would now apply to “children’s camps." These regulations include, but are not limited to:

    • Complying with the standards established by the state Director of Public Health
    • Complying with building standards established by the locality, the state Director of Public Health, and the State Building Standards Code
    • Filing an application for a camp license at least 90 days before desired opening date; Obtaining a license through the local health agency
    • Ensuring that a full-time adult health supervisor, is available on the premises of the children’s camp whenever campers are present

    The bill further establishes safety requirements, such as minimum staff-to-camper ratios, the types of background checks to be conducted, and the camper health records which need to be retained.

    We would like to hear your thoughts on this proposal.

    [STATE] February 2, 2022: Virginia Bill Regulating Online Cancellation of Automatically Renewing Contracts Passes House

    H.B.78, a bill that we previously alerted you on, which would regulate the cancellation of automatically renewing contracts in the state, was recently passed by the Virginia House of Delegates. The bill will now proceed to the Senate for consideration.

    The bill would require a business which uses automatically renewing contracts to make available a conspicuous online option to cancel a recurring purchase of a good or service if the purchase was made online.

    This bill was amended from its original form and no longer contains provisions regulating free trials. Previously, the bill would have required a company offering a free trial of products or services to:

    • Include an acknowledgement disclosing how to cancel the free trial
    • Notify the consumer of the automatic renewal within seven days of the free trial period expiration date
    • Obtain the consumer's affirmative consent to the automatic renewal beyond the free trial before the consumer or becomes obligated to pay for the goods or services.

    IHRSA will continue to actively monitor this bill and provide you with further information and advocacy opportunities. IHRSA supports contract provisions that allow for automatic continuation of service at the end of the original term on a month-to-month, at-will basis, as they offer consumers increased choice and flexibility.

    [STATE] January 31, 2022: Rhode Island Bill Regulating Automatic Charges Made by Health Clubs, Introduced and Set for Hearing

    Lawmakers in Rhode Island filed H.B.6659, a bill to regulate the auto-billing of members by health clubs. H.B.6659 is set for a hearing in the House Committee on Corporations, Tuesday, February 1 at 5 p.m.

    The bill would require health clubs which automatically deduct from a checking or savings account, a credit card, or a similar device on a regular schedule to do the following:

    • Cease charging the consumer within 30 calendar days of receiving notice from the consumer that they would like the automatic charge to be stopped
    • Provide the consumer with notice of rate increases or substantial changes of service in writing within 30 days prior to the rate increase or service changes taking effect

    If the health club is found guilty of violations, the consumer would not be responsible for any further charges and may terminate their contractual agreement from the date of the violation. In addition to a fine of up to $1,000 to the health club.

    IHRSA will be submitting testimony on this bill and encourage you to as well. If you are interested in submitting testimony, please email a PDF of your testimony to HouseCorporations@rilegislature.gov.

    [STATE] January 28, 2022: Missouri Files Bill Regulating Automatically Renewing Contracts

    Lawmakers in Missouri recently introduced H.B.2555, a bill that would create new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts.

    The bill would amend current law to require businesses which issue automatic renewal contracts to:

    • Present the automatic renewal and cancellation terms in a clear and conspicuous manner prior to the consumer entering into the agreement.
    • Obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent to the automatic renewal terms prior to charging them for an automatic renewal.
    • Provide an acknowledgement that includes the automatic renewal terms, cancellation policy and information regarding how to cancel.
    • Provide at least one of the following methods of cancellation
      • a toll-free telephone number,
      • an email address,
      • a postal address if the seller directly bills the consumer, or
      • a cost-effective, timely, and easy-to-use mechanism for cancellation.

    [STATE] January 27, 2022: Virginia Amends Bill Regulating Automatic Renewal of Free Trials

    Two identical bills recently filed in Virginia that would regulate automatic renewal contracts, H.B.601 and H.B.78 were recently amended to remove the requirements proposed on free trial periods of automatically renewing contracts. Since the bills were identical, H.B.601 was recommended to be stricken from the record and H.B.78 will proceed forward as amended.

    Since the bill was amended, the bill would now only require a business which uses automatically renewing contracts to make available a conspicuous online option to cancel a recurring purchase of a good or service if the purchase was made online.

    Previously, the bill would have required a company offering a free trial of products or services to:

    • Include an acknowledgement disclosing how to cancel the free trial,
    • Notify the consumer of the automatic renewal within seven days of the free trial period expiration date, and
    • Obtain the consumer's affirmative consent to the automatic renewal beyond the free trial before the consumer or becomes obligated to pay for the goods or services.

    [STATE] January 26, 2022: Maine Files Bill Restricting Collection of Biometric Data

    Lawmakers in Maine are considering a bill restricting businesses’ use of biometric information. Biometric identifiers are information generated based on biological characteristics that are unique to each individual (e.g., fingerprints, retina scans, facial scans, and iris scans).

    L.D.1945 would require businesses which collect biometric identifiers to develop a written policy made available to the public establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for destruction of the data. The data must be permanently destroyed either after the purpose of collecting the data has been satisfied or up to one year after the individual’s last intentional interaction with the business, whichever occurs first. The business must also obtain the individual’s affirmative written consent prior to collecting biometric identifiers.

    Upon request of an individual, a business that collects or possesses biometric data on that individual shall disclose to the individual free of charge any biometric identifiers associated with that individual, the method of capture and any third-party with which the biometric identifier was shared.

    [STATE] January 26, 2022: New Jersey Files Bill Regulating Automatic Renewal Contracts

    Lawmakers in Trenton have introduced a bill that would create new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts. A.526, would amend current law to require businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts to:

    • Present the automatic renewal offer terms or continuous service offer terms in a clear and conspicuous manner prior to the consumer entering into the agreement.
    • Obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent to the agreement containing the automatic renewal terms prior to charging them for an automatic renewal.
    • Provide an acknowledgment that includes the automatic renewal offer terms, cancellation policy, and information regarding how to cancel in a manner that is capable of being retained by the consumer.
    • Provide a toll-free telephone number, email address, postal address, or another cost-effective and easy-to-use mechanism for cancellation.
    • Allow the consumer to terminate the automatic renewal agreement exclusively online if the consumer entered into the agreement online.

    [STATE] January 21, 2022: Tennessee Bill Regulating Automatic Renewal Contracts Set for Hearing

    H.B.1652, a bill that would create new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts in Tennessee, is set for a hearing in the House Banking and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee on January 26 at 5 p.m.

    The bill would amend current law to require businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts to:

    • Present the automatic renewal and cancellation terms in a clear and conspicuous manner prior to the consumer entering into the agreement
    • Obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent prior to charging them for an automatic renewal
    • Provide an acknowledgment that includes the automatic renewal offer terms or continuous service offer terms, cancellation policy, and information regarding how to cancel
    • Allow the consumer to terminate the automatic renewal agreement online, if entered into online.

    IHRSA will be submitting testimony on this bill and encourage you to as well. Please email written testimony to Committee Chair Dennis Powers at rep.dennis.powers@capitol.tn.gov in advance of the hearing. IHRSA supports contract provisions that allow for automatic continuation of service at the end of the original term on a month-to-month, at-will basis, as they offer consumers increased choice and flexibility.

    [STATE] January 21, 2022: Maryland Files Bill Restricting Collection of Biometric Data, Set for Hearing

    Lawmakers in Maryland are considering a bill restricting businesses’ use of biometric identifiers and biometric information. Biometric identifiers are biological characteristics that are unique to each individual (e.g., fingerprints, retina scans, facial scans, and iris scans). Biometric information is any information that is captured, converted, or stored based on an individual’s biometric identifier.

    H.B.0259 would require businesses which collect biometric information to develop a written policy made available to the public establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for destruction of the data.

    Additionally, businesses are prohibited from selling, trading, or otherwise profiting from an individual's biometric identifiers or information. Businesses are further prohibited from sharing or disclosing without permission of the individual or in limited specified circumstances.

    [STATE] January 20, 2022: Illinois Files Bill Further Regulating Automatic Renewal Contracts

    Lawmakers in Illinois have introduced a bill that would further regulate automatically renewing contracts in the state. S.B.3447, would amend Illinois’ current automatically renewing contract law to require businesses to:

    • Disclose the automatic renewal clause clearly and conspicuously both in the contract and during the process by which a consumer enters into the contract.
    • Obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent to the automatic renewal terms during the contract formation process.
    • Allow the consumer to terminate the automatic renewal agreement online, if entered into online.

    If the initial term of the contract is one year or longer and renews for a period longer than one month, the business must include in the notification to the consumer the dollar amount to be charged, length of the renewal term and a link that directs the consumer to the cancellation process. The written notification requirement is already part of Illinois law.

    Additionally, if a business includes a free gift or trial period which will result in an automatic charge to the consumer after the expiry of the gift or trial period, the business must notify the consumer of the expiration of the trial period between three and 21 days prior to the expiration.

    [STATE] January 18, 2022: West Virginia Considers Bill Restricting Collection of Biometric Data

    Lawmakers in West Virginia are considering a bill restricting businesses’ use of biometric identifiers and biometric information. Biometric identifiers are biological characteristics that are unique to each individual (e.g., fingerprints, retina scans, facial scans, and iris scans). Biometric information is any information that is captured, converted, or stored based on an individual’s biometric identifier.

    H.B.2064 would require businesses which collect biometric information to develop a written policy made available to the public establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for destruction of the data. The businesses would be required to gain the customer’s written consent before the collection of any biometric data.

    Additionally, businesses are prohibited from selling, trading, or otherwise profiting from an individual's biometric identifiers or information. Businesses are further prohibited from sharing or disclosing biometric information or identifiers without permission of the individual or in limited specified circumstances.

    [STATE] January 18, 2022: Virginia to Consider Bill Regulating Automatic Renewal of Free Trials

    Lawmakers in Virginia recently filed H.B.601, a bill that would regulate the automatic renewal of free trial offers in the state.

    The bill would require a company offering a free trial of products or services to:

    • Include an acknowledgement disclosing how to cancel the free trial
    • Notify the consumer of the automatic renewal within seven days of the free trial period expiration date
    • Obtain the consumer's affirmative consent to the automatic renewal beyond the free trial before the consumer or becomes obligated to pay for the goods or services.

    Additionally, this bill would require a business which uses any automatically renewing contracts to make available a conspicuous online option to cancel a recurring purchase of a good or service if the purchase was made online.

    [STATE] January 18, 2022: West Virginia Files Bill Requiring Notification Before Auto Renewal

    Lawmakers in Charleston have introduced a bill that would create new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts. S.B.33, would amend current law to require businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts to:

    • Present the automatic renewal and cancellation terms in a clear and conspicuous manner prior to the consumer entering into the agreement
    • Obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent prior to charging them for an automatic renewal
    • Remind the consumer of the recurring charge, if the charge is made once a year or less frequently, 30 days prior to the charge

    Additionally, this bill includes a cure process which would allow the business to correct the violation and avoid a penalty if the violation is corrected within 30 days of the business receiving the notice.

    [STATE] January 10, 2022: Indiana Considers Bill Expanding Sales Tax to Services

    Lawmakers in Indiana are considering S.B.0372, a bill that would expand the state sales tax to include all services. The bill proposes to shift the state tax structure by reducing individual income tax and repealing the corporate adjusted gross income tax. In turn, the state sales tax would be expanded to offset the losses due to the repeal or reduction of the other taxes.

    The bill defines a taxable service as “any activity engaged in for another person, if the person purchases the service as the end user of the service for consideration.”

    [STATE] January 10, 2022: South Carolina Considers Bill Restricting Collection of Biometric Data

    Lawmakers in South Carolina have pre-filed a bill restricting businesses’ use of biometric information ahead of the 2022 legislative session.

    H.B.3063 would require businesses that collect biometric information to develop a written policy made available to the public establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for destruction of the data when the initial purpose for collecting or obtaining such identifiers or information has been satisfied or within three years of the individual's last interaction with the business.

    If passed, this bill would require businesses that collect biometric information to:

    • Inform the consumer that biometric information is being collected, as well as the specific purpose and length of time for which it is being collected, stored or used,
    • Obtain consent from the consumer for the collection of their biometric data,
    • Delete the collected biometric information upon request of the consumer,
    • and more.

    [STATE] January 6, 2022: Tennessee Files Bill Regulating Automatic Renewal Contracts

    Lawmakers in Nashville have introduced a bill that would create new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts. H.B.1652, would amend current law to require businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts to:

    • Present the automatic renewal and cancellation terms in a clear and conspicuous manner prior to the consumer entering into the agreement,
    • Obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent prior to charging them for an automatic renewal,
    • Provide an acknowledgment that includes the automatic renewal offer terms or continuous service offer terms, cancellation policy, and information regarding how to cancel,
    • Allow the consumer to terminate the automatic renewal agreement online, if entered into online.

    IHRSA will continue to actively monitor this bill and provide you with further information and advocacy opportunities. IHRSA supports contract provisions that allow for automatic continuation of service at the end of the original term on a month-to-month, at-will basis, as they offer consumers increased choice and flexibility.

    [STATE] January 6, 2022: Kentucky Files Bill Requiring Notification Before Auto-Renewal

    Lawmakers in Kentucky have filed a bill that would create new stipulations for businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts. H.B.106, would amend current law to require businesses issuing automatic renewal contracts to:

    • Present the automatic renewal and cancellation terms in a clear and conspicuous manner prior to the consumer entering into the agreement,
    • Obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent prior to charging them for an automatic renewal,
    • Provide an acknowledgment that includes the automatic renewal offer terms or continuous service offer terms, cancellation policy, and information regarding how to cancel,
    • and more.

    [STATE] January 6, 2022: Kentucky Considers Bill Restricting Collection of Biometric Data

    Lawmakers in Kentucky are considering a bill restricting businesses’ use of biometric identifiers and biometric information. Biometric identifiers are biological characteristics that are unique to each individual (e.g. fingerprints, retina scans, facial scans, iris scans, etc.). Biometric information is any information that is captured, converted, or stored based on an individual’s biometric identifier.

    H.B.32 would require businesses that collect biometric information to develop a written policy made available to the public establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for destruction of the data when the initial purpose for collecting or obtaining such identifiers or information has been satisfied or within three years of the individual's last interaction with the business.

    [NATIONAL] December 17, 2021: Members of House of Representatives Send Letter to Leadership Urging Small Business Relief

    Congressman Dean Phillips (D-MN) and 70 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Congressional leadership of both the House and Senate requesting passage of a small business relief bill which includes fitness.

    The letter, addressed to Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader Schumer and Minority Leader McConnell urged the leadership to pass a, “targeted relief package that funds all previously eligible requests through the RRF and allows small businesses in the fitness, live events, and travel industries to request much-needed federal assistance.”

    [NATIONAL] December 13, 2021: Tell Congress to Keep Their Promise & Reinstate the ERTC!

    Representatives Carol Miller (R-WV), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Kevin Hern (R-OK), and Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) Reinstatement Act (H.R.6161) on December 7, 2021, to restore the ERTC for Q4 of 2021. We have created a one-click campaign for you to write to your member of Congress and ask them to support H.R.6161.

    While the GYMS Act and direct relief for gyms remains IHRSA’s top advocacy priority, we are and will continue to fight for all forms of assistance for the industry.

    IHRSA has joined a coalition of organizations, including the National Restaurant Association, the International Franchise Association, and others, in strong support of this bill and the reinstatement of the ERTC for Q4 of 2021.

    Congress created a relief program, encouraged businesses to use and rely upon that program and then they took it away. Congress needs to keep their promise on ERTC.

    Tell your member of Congress to support H.R.6161 and reinstate the ERTC for Q4 of 2021!

    [NATIONAL] December 9, 2021: IHRSA Supports Bill Introduced in Congress to Restore ERTC for Q4 2021, IRS Releases Guidance

    Following the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act back in September, the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) was rolled back for the fourth quarter of 2021. Wages paid after September 30 became ineligible for the credit. The ERTC was originally scheduled to end on December 31, 2021, but Congress terminated it three months early to help offset some of the cost of the infrastructure bill.

    In response to this rollback of the ERTC, Representatives Carol Miller (R-WV), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Kevin Hern (R-OK), and Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) Reinstatement Act on December 7, 2021. The bill would restore the ERTC for Q4 of 2021.

    IHRSA has joined a coalition of organizations, including the National Restaurant Association, the International Franchise Association and others in strong support of this bill and the reinstatement of the ERTC for Q4 of 2021.

    Liz Clark, President & CEO of IHRSA was quoted in Representative Miller's press release, "The Employee Retention Tax Credit has been crucial for the fitness industry still struggling under the weight of COVID-19 related closures and restrictions. The unexpected early termination of the program worsened an already difficult situation for many of these businesses. We applaud Representatives Miller, Murphy, Hern and Sewell for their leadership in working to restore the promise Congress made when they introduced the program."

    Additionally, the IRS has released guidance on how the current ERTC rollback for Q4 will be implemented. While we are supportive of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) Reinstatement Act, the ERTC was still officially rolled back for Q4 of 2021 and it is important to follow IRS guidelines while the bill works its way through Congress.

    [NATIONAL] December 3, 2021: What happened to the GYMS Act?

    Congress is working on a bill to provide COVID relief to a small number of uniquely harmed industries. Relief for gyms is very much a part of the conversation for inclusion in this bill.

    While the timing of relief has slipped to early 2022, we are the closest we have ever been to getting relief from the ravages of COVID for gyms. Hurdles remain, of course. Some days, big hurdles. But by consistently executing on the game plan we outlined last year and leveraging the tremendous efforts of industry professionals from across the industry, we are now in a position where relief for gyms may soon be a reality.

    It is remarkable how far our industry has come to get to this point. The GYMS Act is the reason we are under serious consideration right now for federal relief.

    [NATIONAL] December 2, 2021: IHRSA & CGC Send a Letter to Leadership Urging Them to Pass Direct Relief for the Fitness Industry

    Gaining relief for the fitness industry is an ongoing battle. The GYMS Act has served as our case for relief to Congress and provided a unifying message for our industry. This messaging worked and has helped us force our way to the table in the discussion for federal COVID relief.

    On behalf of the more than 40,000 fitness facilities fighting to foster and strengthen Americans’ health and fitness, IHRSA and the Community Gyms Coalition (CGC) sent a leader to leadership urging them to pass direct aid for gyms and fitness facilities before the end of this year.

    [NATIONAL] November 29, 2021: Relief for Gyms Update

    The Senate is negotiating a business relief bill RIGHT NOW! This may be our best shot to get the federal relief that health clubs, gyms, and studios so desperately need.

    The Senate will be making its decision as early as this week.

    How you can help: Take part in the campaign.

    [NATIONAL] November 10, 2021: Congress Eliminates Employee Retention Tax Credit for Q4

    The recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act rolled back the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) as of September 30. As a result, wages paid after September 30 are ineligible for the credit. The ERTC was originally scheduled to end on December 31, 2021, but Congress terminated it three months early to help offset some of the cost of the infrastructure bill.

    The ERTC was a fully refundable tax credit for employers closed or partially closed due to COVID-19 and experienced a decline of more than 20%.

    IHRSA worked with a coalition of industries lobbying to protect access to the ERTC through the end of 2021.

    These efforts included a push from champions in the House of Representatives to oppose the early rollback of the ERTC. Unfortunately, the Senate made it clear that they would not accept any changes to the infrastructure bill they passed, which included the ERTC rollback. As a result, the House of Representatives was unable to amend the bill, and the ERTC rollback stood.

    In addition to these advocacy efforts, IHRSA and others have sought clarification from the IRS on how the IRS will treat the advance withholding from (past) payroll tax deposits and if the rollback will make the business entity indebted to the IRS, including potential penalties and late fees.

    IHRSA will continue to work with other industries to seek opportunities to restore the ERTC for the fourth quarter. We will post updates when available.

    [STATE] November 8, 2021: Massachusetts Bill to Subsidize Cost of Gym Memberships Set for Hearing

    Lawmakers in Massachusetts filed S.1509, a bill that would create a program to subsidize memberships to health clubs, gyms and fitness centers and a public awareness campaign to promote citizens of Massachusetts living healthier lifestyles in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Joint Committee on Public Health will consider S.1509 in a hearing this week.

    The bill would direct the department of public health to establish a gym membership subsidy program to incentivize public and private employers to offer free gym memberships for employees.

    The program would be implemented through an application system where employers can apply for reimbursement for the costs of offering employees free gym memberships.

    [NATIONAL] November 5, 2021: Emergency Temporary Standard on Biden Vaccine Mandate Released

    On Thursday, November 4, OSHA issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) on the vaccine mandate.

    Businesses with 100 or more employees—including part and full-time employees—must require employees to be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022. Employees who are not fully vaccinated by Jan. 4 have to produce a verified negative test to their employers every week.

    On November 6, 2021, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked the Biden Administration’s OSHA vaccine mandate. This is the first of several legal challenges anticipated on the mandate.

    We will continue to update this story as the situation develops.

    [STATE] October 27, 2021: New York City Proposal to Remove Special Permit Required to Open a Gym, Health Club or Studio, Passes Vote

    A proposal to remove the requirement that gyms, studios, and health clubs obtain a special permit to open was passed in the City Planning Commission by a vote of 10-1 in support of the Health and Fitness text amendment.

    The proposal will now move to the City Council for a public hearing, which we anticipate occurring sometime in mid-November, but the council has yet to schedule the hearing. We expect the City Council to vote on—and hopefully approve—the proposal in December.

    [STATE] October 6, 2021: Massachusetts Bill Restricting Collection of Biometric Data Set for Hearing

    The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet and Cybersecurity has set a hearing on a bill (S.220) restricting businesses' use of biometric identifiers and biometric information.

    S.220 would require businesses that collect biometric information to develop a written policy made available to the public to establish a retention schedule and guidelines for destruction of the data.

    Biometric information is any information that is captured, converted, or stored based on an individual’s biometric identifier.

    Businesses would be required to gain the customer’s written consent before the collection of any biometric data. The bill defines biometric identifiers as biological characteristics that are unique to each individual—e.g., fingerprints, retina scans, facial scans, and iris scans.

    Additionally, businesses are prohibited from selling, trading, or otherwise profiting from an individual's biometric identifiers or information. The bill also prohibits companies from sharing or disclosing without permission of the individual or in limited specified circumstances.

    [STATE] September 10, 2021: North Carolina Autorenew Bill Amended and Passed Senate

    This week, the North Carolina State Senate amended and passed H.B.103, a bill that would change the law regulating automatically renewing contracts.

    The amendment would require consumers to initial beside the automatic renewal disclosure statement in the contract and would make it illegal to charge for an automatic renewal if they did not initial beside the disclosure agreement.

    The bill, in addition to the amendment noted above, would require businesses to obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent prior to charging for the automatic renewal, and the following information to be included clearly and conspicuously in a disclosure statement in the initial contract if the contract automatically renews for a period of more than one month:

    • That the contract will be automatically renewed if the consumer agrees to the contract.

    • The length of the initial term of the contract and the length of each renewal period.

    • The amount to be charged for the initial term of the contract and any renewal periods.

    • An email address, mailing address, or toll-free phone number that the consumer may use to terminate the automatic renewal.

    Author avatar

    Jake Landry

    Jake Landry is the Public Policy Assistant for IHRSA. His primary responsibilities include monitoring legislation that affects the health club industry at the state and federal level and writing legislative alerts and articles on issues that affect IHRSA members. While not in the office, Jake enjoys soccer–both playing and watching–especially his beloved Liverpool F.C.