BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                      



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   SB 285|
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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 285
          Author:   Correa (D)
          Amended:  5/24/11
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 05/03/11
          AYES:  Hancock, Anderson, Calderon, Harman, Liu, Price, 
            Steinberg

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8


           SUBJECT  :    Massage therapy certification

           SOURCE  :     Orange County District Attorney


           DIGEST  :    The bill provides 1) that any person who falsely 
          asserts or affirms, including through issuance of an 
          unearned diploma or certificate, that a person has received 
          massage therapy instruction, is guilty of a misdemeanor, 
          with a maximum jail term of one year and a fine of up to 
          $2,500; and 2) that where any person is prosecuted for a 
          crime connected with massage therapy, including 
          prostitution, a law enforcement agency may inform the 
          California Massage Therapy Council about the person's 
          massage therapy training, including the name of any school 
          the person attended, as specified. 

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law includes a process for voluntary 
          certification by a non-profit Massage Therapy Organization 
          (the California Massage Therapy Council) of a person as a 
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          massage therapist or related professional. (Bus. & Prof. 
          Code  4600 et seq.)

          Existing law provides that a person must complete 250 hours 
          of specified training to obtain certification as a massage 
          practitioner. (Bus. & Prof. Code  4601, subd. (a).)

          Existing law provides that a person must complete 500 hours 
          of specified training to obtain certification as a massage 
          therapist. (Bus. & Prof. Code  4601, subd. (c).)

          Existing law provides that certification is valid for two 
          years. (Bus. & Prof. Code  4601, subd. (f).)

          Existing law provides that a person who obtains a 
          certificate has the right to practice massage in any city, 
          county or city and county in California. (Bus. & Prof. Code 
           4612, subd. (a).)

          Existing law authorizes local government entities to enact 
          reasonable health and safety requirements for massage 
          establishments and zoning rules that do not discriminate 
          against massage businesses. (Bus. & Prof. Code  4612, 
          subds. (a)-(b).)

          Existing law authorizes local government entities to 
          regulate massage services by persons who are not certified. 
          (Bus. & Prof. Code  4613.)

          This bill provides that any person who provides a 
          certificate, diploma or other document, or otherwise 
          affirms that a person has received massage therapy 
          instruction, knowing that the person has not received such 
          training, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine 
          of no more than $2,500, or imprisonment in county jail for 
          up to one year, or both.

          This bill provides that any person who is criminally 
          prosecuted for a violation of law in connection with 
          massage therapy, including crimes related to prostitution, 
          the arresting law enforcement agency may inform the 
          California Massage Therapy Council (created pursuant to 
          Section 4600.5) about the instruction received by the 
          person prosecuted, including the name of any school 

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          attended by the prosecuted person.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes   
          Local:  Yes

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/23/11)

          Orange County District Attorney (source) 
          Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs
          California Fraternal Order of Police
          California Massage Therapy Council
          Long Beach Police Officers Association
          Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association
          Santa Ana Police Officers Association


           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author:

               This legislation addresses fraudulent issuance of 
               transcripts by massage schools.  Criminalizing this 
               conduct will deter massage schools from assisting 
               human traffickers in sexually exploiting women.  In 
               addition, the identity of the massage school attended 
               by a massage therapist who has been prosecuted for 
               prostitution should be provided to the California 
               Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) so that massage 
               schools that are in league with human traffickers can 
               be readily identified.  

               Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing 
               criminal industries in the world.  Traffickers reap 
               billions in profits by using force, fraud, and 
               coercion to rob victims of their freedom.  According 
               to the U.S. State Department there are 12.3 million 
               human trafficking victims around the world; 56 percent 
               of whom are women and girls.  In 2009, 49,105 victims 
               were identified worldwide, a 59 percent increase over 
               2008.  

               California is a prime target for traffickers. The 2007 
               Human Trafficking in California Final Report found 
               that the majority of victims were non-citizens, with 
               or without valid travel documents.  The report stated 
               that prostitution was the most common form (47 %) of 

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               human trafficking followed by domestic servitude (33 
               %) and agriculture (2 %).
               
               Increasingly, human trafficking victims to work in 
               illegitimate massage parlors, providing sexual 
               services under the guise of massage therapy.  
               Traffickers bring in women, often from Asia, and force 
               them to work off the debt of being smuggled into the 
               United States by working in massage parlors as 
               prostitutes. 

               In order for a trafficking victim to work in a massage 
               parlor, either a local police department permit or a 
               certificate from the California Massage Therapy 
               Council (CAMTC) is required.  The CAMTC was 
               established by the Legislature to certify massage 
               therapists statewide.  Police and CAMTC require a 
               transcript from a massage school certifying that the 
               student has received 500 hours of massage training, in 
               English.  Many victims speak little or no English and 
               could not complete such training and traffickers do 
               not want to wait six months for victims to complete 
               training.  Thus, the traffickers purchase falsified 
               massage school transcripts.  Ending access to 
               fraudulent transcripts will make human trafficking 
               significantly more difficult.  Unfortunately, under 
               existing law, it is not a crime to sell someone a 
               phony massage school transcript.  This bill would 
               remedy that problem.

               This bill addresses a second problem.  Each police 
               department only knows of massage school-related 
               prostitution arrests in their local area.  This 
               information is not collated in a single location and 
               made available to law enforcement agencies.  This 
               makes it very difficult to identify the fraudulent 
               massage schools.  This legislation would require this 
               information be provided to CAMTC for distribution to 
               all law enforcement agencies who wish to receive it. 


          RJG:nl  5/23/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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