A bill introduced in Arizona would require that all people applying for state licensure in Arizona be able to speak and read English.

In 2006, Arizona voters made English the official language of the state, and that law bans local and state governments from doing business in any language other than English.

Senate Bill 1249 would also raise the number of education hours required of massage therapy school graduates, from 500 to 700. The bill also stipulates that massage education must include both classroom and clinical hours; previously only classroom hours were stipulated.

“[The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)] has long been for protecting the right to practice of massage therapists and students whose course of study would lead them to meet state and local laws as they exist at the time they begin massage school,” AMTA National President Glenath Moyle told MASSAGE Magazine. “There are several proposed changes to the Arizona massage law that came about as an effort to clean up processes of the state regulatory board.

“Our Arizona chapter is in contact with the regulatory board to work toward changes that don’t have a negative impact on massage therapists and their right to practice,” Moyle added.

AMTA-AZ President Lil Hackett was contacted for a statement about the bill, but MASSAGE Magazine instead received the statement from Moyle.

The bill is sponsored by Senator Nancy Barto. It was introduced in January and on March 22 passed the House Employment and Regulatory Affairs Committee and was referred to the House Rules Committee.

—Karen Menehan