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Massage Today
May 28, 2010

Controversial CA Law That Targeted Massage Therapists Has Been Gutted

Sections Calling for Local Police Investigation of Applicants Removed in Amended Version

By Christie Bondurant

A California state Assembly committee has unanimously approved amendments that effectively gut the most controversial elements of an anti-prostitution bill that targeted massage therapists.

In a 12-0 vote, the state Assembly Appropriations Committee approved amendments today that eliminated language giving local police authority to issue work permits for California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) applicants. (Note: Five members of the 17-member committee abstained from voting.)

As a result, should Assembly Bill 1822 be signed into law as amended, California therapists will be able to continue to seek certification through a single state board, the CAMTC, rather than filing applications and obtaining work permits from every community where they have clients.

The CAMTC is still opposed to the bill; however, they do believe improvements have been made.

"CAMTC is adamantly opposed to AB 1822," Ahmos Netanel, CAMTC chief executive officer said in an interview with Massage Today. "However, we are pleased with the direction it has taken."

Additional Amendments

While the bill's language regarding local certification of individual massage therapists was removed, the bill does keep language which adds two law enforcement members to the CAMTC including a Police Chiefs Association position and a Sheriffs Association position .

Another amendment includes an added section to strengthen enforcement against illegal operators of massage business. Section 4612.5 of the Business and Professions Code reads:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, any city, county, or city and county may require any person who administers massage for compensation, or who owns a massage establishment or business, to also hold a business license or a massage establishment permit or both."

These three amendments come after strong backlash from the massage community along with recent discussions between CAMTC, American Massage Therapy Association California chapter and proponents of the bill.

See Massage Today article.

Generally, to become California law, the bill would have to pass both houses of state legislature (Senate and Assembly) and need the governor's signature.


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