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Massage Today
September, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 09

CA Bill Heads to Governor's Desk

Passes State Legislature

By Christie Bondurant

The highly controversial California Assembly Bill 1822 passed state legislature this week and currently sits on the governor's desk awaiting his review.

On Tuesday, the State Assembly concurred Senate amendments, which includes adding two law enforcement officials to the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC).

The amendment also stipulates that the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) and the California State Sheriffs Association have the only authority to select the law enforcement officials. The CPCA is the same organization that was the driving force behind the original, and highly controversial, version of the bill. (See Massage Today article.)

The infamous anti-prostitution law has had heavy opposition from major massage associations including the CAMTC, American Massage Therapy Association-California chapter (AMTA-CA) and Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP). All three organizations have contested the bill's passage and expressed concern over the CPCA's involvement in the selection of law enforcement officials.

According to CAMTC executive director Ahmos Netanel, who spent several months working with the CPCA in negotiations, the "hostile" police group is not looking out for the best interests of the massage community.

"The board is functioning very well, very effectively, and very balanced," said Netanel. "A hostile police organization will handicap our ability to protect the public," he said.

Amanda Whitehead, AMTA-CA government relations chair, shared the same sentiment in a recent opposition letter. "Appointing law enforcement personnel to a self-regulating board would be both unprecedented and unnecessary," said Whitehead. "The presence on the CAMTC board of representatives appointed by an organization that has proven to be openly hostile to CAMTC would be a huge step backwards for public protection and fair business regulation in California."

And in another opposition letter sent out by ABMP: "The California Police Chiefs Association ... seeks to dramatically weaken CAMTC. California professions traditionally self-regulate. The imposition of law enforcement seats onto a health profession board would establish a dangerous precedent that could easily spread to boards regulating other professions."

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has until the end of September to sign or veto the bill.

As this bill has potential to harm the massage community and is ineffective in protecting the public from illegal operators of massage businesses, Massage Today has created a "Veto AB 1822" e-mail form that will be sent to California Governor Schwarzenegger as well as the bill's author, State Assemblyman Sandre Swanson (D-Alameda). [Note: If you are one of the thousands who sent in the Massage Today e-mail form (when it was first created a few months ago) to state assembly members, please use our new form, which will be sent to the governor.] 

Tell Governor Schwarzenegger to veto AB 1822 by clicking

Related articles:

Police Group Seeks Even More Control Over Massage Board
Major Massage Associations Call for CA Legislators to Kill Bill

Editor's note: Massage Today has covered this story extensively. For a list of all articles related to AB 1822, search "AB 1822" in the search box (located in the top left corner). 


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