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March 25, 2014 > Union City mayor calls for massage therapy legislation

Union City mayor calls for massage therapy legislation

Submitted By Rhea Serran

In Sacramento on March 10, the LegislatureÕs joint hearing of the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee and Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee examined SB 731 (Oropeza), legislation enacted in 2008 that created a voluntary certification process through a nonprofit organization for massage professionals. This legislation sunsets on January 1, 2015 and the City of Union City is advocating that the law is replaced with new legislation that enables cities throughout California to apply reasonable land use regulations and public safety enforcement to all of our businesses, including massage establishments.

SB 731 has an unintended consequence that has resulted in proliferation of establishments offering illicit services, many of which are also fronts for human trafficking. In Union City, the number of massage establishments has grown significantly since SB 731 took effect.

Union City Mayor Dutra-Vernaci issued the following statement: ÒWe stand with the League of California Cities and the California Police Chiefs Association to strongly support the sunset of the failed experiment of SB 731. We need the nonprofit organization, the California Massage Therapy Council, to be replaced with a state agency that is responsible for certifying massage therapy businesses and their employees so that these business owners become liable when illicit activity occurs in their establishments. ItÕs time to restore the authority cities lost under SB 731 so that we can apply reasonable land use regulations and public safety enforcement to all of our businesses.Ó

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