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Calls Needed in Support of Massage Bill as it goes to the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee

May 29, 2014
League-supported AB 1147 (Bonilla) is scheduled for its first legislative hearing in the Senate on Monday, June 23 when the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee meets.
 
The bill would completely revise and recast the law regulating massage therapy in California and fix the unintended consequences of SB 731 (2008). City officials are urged to contact members of the committee to voice their support for the Massage Therapy Act of 2014 to give tools to local governments to address establishments that masquerade as massage businesses but in reality deal in illicit activities and human trafficking. The League is specifically calling on cities represented by members of the committee to voice their support for AB 1147.

Background
 
Local governments across the state have been negatively impacted as a result of the unintended consequences of SB 731, which created a voluntary certification process for massage professionals through the nonprofit California Massage Therapy Council (CMTC). Unfortunately business owners are not liable for what occurs on their premises. The 2008 law limited cities land use authority over massage establishments and it has been challenging for local law enforcement to stop illicit activities.
 
With the law set to sunset on Jan. 1, 2015, the League and other stakeholders have been engaged in an effort to replace this law with new regulations that restore local land use authority and protect the public by stopping the proliferation of human trafficking.
 
Support for AB 1147
 
On April 22, Assembly Members Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) and Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) introduced a major reform measure to overhaul SB 731. The Massage Therapy Act would remove broad restrictions on local government's land use authority so that cities and counties could more effectively zone and regulate massage establishments, and shut them down where there is illegal activity or a threat to health and safety.
 
Under AB 1147, local governments would be authorized to adopt ordinances to require massage establishments to comply with reasonable health and safety requirements and abide by set hours of operation. Jurisdictions would have the authority to collect regulatory fees in accordance with Proposition 26 and pay business license taxes. In addition, CMTC’s board would be reconstituted to add public members as well as a police chief.
 
Action Needed      
 
In the weeks prior to the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee hearing the League is urging cities to contact committee members in support of AB 1147 with phone calls and letters. A sample letter has been posted on the League’s website.
 
It is important that cities particularly target the members of the committee, who are:
  • Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), chair
  • Sen. Mark Wyland (D-Escondido)
  • Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto)
  • Sen. Marty Block (D-San Diego)
  • Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-Hayward)
  • Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton)
  • Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina)
  • Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo)
  • Sen. Norma Torres (D-Pomona) 
For more information, please visit www.cacities.org/massage.


 
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