Assemblymember Chris Holden Statement On Massage Therapy Council “Sunset”

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sacramento – At a morning press conference at the State Capitol, Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) talked about the need for better laws to help cities regulate massage parlors.  It has been a hot-button issue for many municipalities struggling to regulate prostitution in their communities. 

Assemblymember Holden issued the following statement:

“The state set out to improve the massage therapy industry with the creation of the California Massage Therapy Council in 2009.  But the law that created the council has failed to keep out the bad actors and has tied the hands of cities that want to keep illicit massage businesses out of their communities.

We need to look at allowing this law to “sunset” and replace it with something that will allow our communities to regain control over businesses who continually flout the law.

While there are many legitimate massage operations, sex trafficking and prostitution have become big business in California with prostitutes as young as 12 or 13 working in illicit massage parlors.  This has led cities to take drastic measures. South Pasadena recently enacted a temporary moratorium to address the avalanche of massage businesses that apply for licenses every month.

Today we will begin to respond by examining the law that created the Massage Therapy Council. It may be time to replace the Council with new legislation that works.”

The joint Assembly and Senate Business and Professions committee will take up the issue today at an informational hearing on whether or not to allow the law that created the Massage Therapy Council to “sunset” next year.