Mark Engle had never really spent any time in the capitol building in Montana. But Engle, who owns two Malibu Tanning Company facilities in Bozeman, didn’t want to sit back and watch legislators make decisions about his business without getting involved.
Engle joined the American Suntanning Association this year. And on the morning of March 23, he joined ASA Director of Scientific Affairs Joseph Levy in testifying at a committee hearing in Helena, Mont., and meeting with several key legislative leaders.
Their efforts secured a legislative victory in Montana – one of 13 ASA state legislative victories engineered in 2019. The Montana bill – an under-18 UV tanning ban bill authored by Montana Sen. Roger Webb – died in the House Judiciary Committee after surprisingly getting through the Senate.
“Mark and his manager, Bianca Hunter, were a huge help in securing that victory,” ASA’s Levy said. “When I meet with legislators, it is always more effective to have a constituent with me to help tell the story. That is not always possible on short notice. In this case, the bill got through the Senate after the sponsor reneged on a commitment he made in a meeting with me in January, and after the bill – which we had convinced a senate committee not to move in January – got pulled to the Senate floor without any committee vote – a diversion that is highly irregular.”