Just as I wrote about the California cities fighting the state licensing program, I received a great news that AB 1822 was Vetoed by our Governor. This is BIG win for Licensed Massage Therapists in California. AB 1822 was introduced because local law enforcement still wanted to regulate the legitimacyof massage therapists as if State’s requirement for fingerprinting and criminal background check by FBI were not enough. Thank you Governor for giving us freedom. We love you. I am so excited I’m posting the email I received from California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) this morning.
You might have heard by now that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 1822. The CAMTC and the massage therapy community strongly believe that the governor listened to reason instead of rhetoric in making his decision, and that the veto itself reflects the disciplined, transparent and cooperative approach we have brought to certification of massage therapists in California.
In his veto message to members of the Legislature and the public, Governor Schwarzenegger wrote:
“I am returning Assembly Bill 1822 without my signature. This bill is unnecessary and inappropriately requires specific law enforcement association appointments to the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC). This Council is already working closely with law enforcement professionals across the state to ensure the profession is appropriately screened for past criminal activity before being certified. In addition, there are members of the public, not associated with the massage industry, already appointed to this Council. For this reason, I cannot sign this bill.”
In a decision of equal importance, the Governor signed Senate Bill 294, by the Chair of the Senate Business and Professions Committee, Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod. This measure contains language written by Legislative Counsel and supported by the massage therapy community, clarifying that statewide certification by the CAMTC does allow CAMTC certified massage professionals to practice anywhere in the state – in general law cities and charter cities alike.
On behalf of the CAMTC Board, I would like to thank all of the therapists and practitioners who stood up for their profession. The Board is very proud of how the massage therapy community so cogently expressed to policymakers the critical role they play in providing safe, quality care in California. You and your colleagues are the ones who told the story of an honorable profession that is doing an extraordinary job of working constructively with law enforcement to weed out the bad apples. It is rewarding that massage professionals were able to make their own case against very difficult odds, but it is equally important that we leave the door open to our critics so they can be further educated about the benefits of massage therapy.
Chief Executive Officer
CALIFORNIA MASSAGE THERAPY COUNCIL