California Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 731, a bill to provide for voluntary certification of the state’s massage therapists, into law on Saturday, Sept. 27.

“We’ll be moving on to the next steps, and I don’t know them all yet,” said Beverly May, co-chair of government relations for the AMTA-California chapter, which advocated for the bill’s passage. “Getting funding is number one, and then setting up the board for … implementation.”

On Sept. 13 MASSAGE Magazine reported that the state’s budge impasse had resulted in the legislation being held along with hundreds of other bills.

The law will establish a nonprofit Massage Therapy Organization to oversee certificants. Those who pursue certification must submit to fingerprinting and a criminal background check. Once certified, they would be freed from all local regulations governing massage therapists, with the exception of business licenses and
health codes.