The nation’s largest massage-membership organization, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, issued an alert on February 20 regarding new legislation introduced in Texas, and voiced its opposition to the bill:

Legislative Alert
Bill detrimental to massage therapists and establishments proposed
 
Senate Bill 854, sponsored by Senator Dan Patrick, was introduced to the Texas State Legislature on February 12, 2009. It has not been assigned to an initial committee hearing yet. The bill adds restrictions and requirements for massage establishments and increases penalties for noncompliance.
 
If passed, SB 854 would restrict the business hours of massage establishments, prohibit the presence of sleeping quarters in any establishment, and require a daily employee log to be maintained, subject to inspection for 90 days. In addition, it would require an owner of a massage establishment to conduct criminal background checks on all applicants for employment and all employees. If the bill were enacted, the new regulations would be very expensive and cumbersome for a small business owner. SB 854 would also prohibit an employer from hiring a staff person who knowingly has a communicable skin disease or a venereal disease.
 
ABMP strongly opposes the bill and encourages members to contact Senator Patrick immediately and ask him to reconsider the bill. You may also call or email your state senator and ask that they vote no on SB 854.
 
Senator Patrick can be emailed at the following:
http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/members/dist7/dist7.htm#Form
 
If you don’t know who your state senator is, go to:
http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Home.aspx
 
To view the entire bill, go to:
http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/81R/billtext/pdf/SB00854I.pdf
 
 
ABMP will keep members posted on the bill’s status.

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