Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla’s measure, The Massage Therapy Reform Act of 2014, was approved today by the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development on Monday.
This bill, which also includes joint authorship from Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez and Assemblymember Chris Holden, is a major reform measure that will overhaul California’s existing massage therapy law.
“This monumental reform is long overdue and seeks to address multiple issues plaguing the massage therapy industry that affect communities all over California where illegitimate massage businesses exist,” said Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord). “AB 1147 will put land use authority back in the hands of local governments, where it belongs, so human trafficking and other illicit activity can be eradicated.”
Assemblymember Gomez adds, “Neighborhoods and communities are demanding that their voices be heard regarding the appropriateness of where massage parlors will be located and how many of them will be allowed. The state’s attempt at regulating these parlors has been a failure and it’s time to return these decisions to local government.”
“I am pleased to be a joint-author of AB 1147 as we work to professionalize the massage therapy industry and reinforce local control over businesses,” said Assemblymember Holden. “For many months, city officials have been complaining that their hands are tied when it comes to regulating massage business – legitimate or otherwise. The Massage Therapy Act removes restrictions on local communities and re-establishes city control over zoning and regulations.”
AB 1147 specifically returns important land use authority to cities and counties; reconstitutes the board of the California Massage Therapy County (CAMTC); reinforces the authority of local massage ordinances; provides local governments with options for revoking the registration of establishments that violate the law; raise professional standards for massage professionals; enhances CAMTC’s discipline authority; and requires the certification of massage establishment operators.
This bill will be heard next in Senate Appropriations Committee.