Holden Announces Major Reforms to CA Massage Parlor Law

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

AB 1147 Massage Therapy Act of 2014

Sacramento: Assemblymember Chris Holden today joined Assemblymembers Susan Bonilla and Jimmy Gomez and the League of California Cities in announcing legislation to help regulate massage businesses and the problem of prostitution and human trafficking that has become big business in cities and communities across the state.

“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 these businesses,” explained Assemblymember Holden.

“For many months, city officials have been complaining that their hands are tied when it comes to regulating massage businesses – legitimate or otherwise. The Massage Therapy Act removes restrictions on local communities and re-establishes city control over zoning and regulations.”

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 failed to keep out the bad actors and restricted cities that wanted to keep illicit businesses out of their communities.  City officials complained that while there are many legitimate businesses, others are fronts for prostitution and increasingly, human trafficking.

“In my district, the city of South Pasadena recently extended its moratorium prohibiting new massage parlors from setting up shop in that small city after 20 opened up.  Officials said the proliferation of these establishments was hurting legitimate businesses and posed a threat to safety in the community because they just don’t have the resources to combat the criminals,” Holden concluded.