AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Steven Fearing got some hands-on experience in the legislative process Tuesday.

Fearing, a registered massage therapist who calls his business ''Touch-N- Go,' ' got permission to set up shop in a committee room near the Senate chambers, and plans to stay there until lawmakers solve the state's budget crisis.

However, all his first 11 customers were lobbyists or staffers, not legislators.

''I'll get relaxed and then I'll talk taxes again,'' Susan Longley, legislative liaison for Comptroller Bob Bullock, said as she left.

Ms. Longley mixed business with therapy during the massage, touting its benefits while asking a co-worker about progress on some legislation.

''This is the best thing since sliced bread. We need this every day,'' she said, and then got serious: ''Where are we on the House?''

For $12, Fearing offers a 15-minute massage. His flier carries slogans such as, ''A new start in the middle of your day'' and ''It's nice to be kneaded in your office.''

A massage is ''better than a coffee break and caffeine free,'' it says.

''It's a place of a lot of responsibility and this is where people keep their responsibility stress, up in their shoulders,'' Fearing said.

Senate secretary Betty King said Sen. Roy Blake, chairman of the Senate Administration Committee, had approved Fearing's enterprise.

''We decided it was a good service for our own employees who are operating under pretty severe stress,'' she said.

Ms. King said she could not remember lawmakers allowing any other business to set up in the Capitol.