A California bill that could wrestle massage regulatory control out of the hands of the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) and into those of local agencies cleared a hurdle in the state legislature yesterday.

AB 1822 was passed by the California Assembly Business & Professions Committee, by a 5-to-3 vote, and has been passed on to the Committee on Appropriations for review.

CAMTC began offering voluntary certification in late 2009. According to its website, “[t]he purpose behind CAMTC’s creation was to serve the interests of the public and the massage profession by making the process of certification the same throughout the state, rather than different in each city and county.”

If AB 1822 becomes law, the regulatory process will effectively revert, to mandate that anyone offering massage therapy in California will have to hold a massage certificate, registration or
license issued by every city and/or county in which the therapist practices.

AB 1822 is sponsored by the California Police Chiefs Association, a group whose website states, “AB 1822 will provide the public assurance that they will be receiving massage services from a healing arts professional. It will provide legislative provisions to prevent prostitution and human traffickers to use the massage profession as a subterfuge for their illegal activities.”

-Karen Menehan