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AB-1537 The California Massage Therapy Council.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/26/2021 10:00 AM
AB1537:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 26, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1537


Introduced by Assembly Member Low
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Arambula, Berman, Bloom, Chen, Chiu, Cunningham, Megan Dahle, Flora, Fong, Gipson, Grayson, Holden, Irwin, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Salas, and Ting)

February 19, 2021


An act to amend Section 4602 Sections 4604 and 4621 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to massage therapy.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1537, as amended, Low. The California Massage Therapy Council.
Existing law law, the Massage Therapy Act, until January 1, 2022, establishes the California Massage Therapy Council, and tasks it with, among other things, issuing certificates to practice as a massage therapist and approving massage therapy schools. Existing law authorizes the board of directors, which governs the council, to establish fees for initial certification, and renewal of certification, in an amount sufficient to support the functions of the council. Existing law requires the board, before holding a meeting to vote upon a proposal to increase the certification fees, to provide at least 90 days’ notice of the meeting, as specified. Existing law authorizes the council to charge a reasonable fee for inspection or approval of schools, provided the fees do not exceed the reasonable cost of the inspection or approval process.
This bill would expand the requirement that notice be provided at least 90 days in advance of a meeting to vote upon a proposal to increase certification fees, to also apply to a meeting to vote upon a proposal to increase fees for inspection or approval of schools. extend the operation of the Massage Therapy Act to January 1, 2023, and make conforming changes relating to massage therapist certification requirements. The bill would state that it is the intent of the Legislature, in extending the operation of the act, that there be subsequent consideration of legislation to create a new state board and a new category of licensed professional, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YESNO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 4604 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

4604.
 (a) In order to obtain certification as a massage therapist, an applicant shall submit a written application and provide the council with satisfactory evidence that the applicant meets all of the following requirements:
(1) The applicant is 18 years of age or older.
(2) The applicant has successfully completed the curricula in massage and related subjects totaling a minimum of 500 hours, or the credit unit equivalent, that incorporates appropriate school assessment of student knowledge and skills.
(A) Of the 500 hours, a minimum of 100 hours of instruction shall address anatomy and physiology, contraindications, health and hygiene, and business and ethics.
(B) All of the 500 hours shall be from approved schools. The council shall accept the 500 hours if, at the time all of the hours were completed, the school or schools were approved. The 500 hours may be completed at more than one approved school. Notwithstanding any other law, pursuant to its policies and procedures for approval of schools, the council shall accept hours earned by an applicant for certification as a massage therapist if those hours were completed before July 1, 2016, and were earned from a school providing education in this state that was unapproved by the council after July 1, 2016, based solely on the fact that the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork took denial or disciplinary action against the school. For purposes of this section, “unapproved” means that the council determined that it will not accept hours from a school toward certification.
(3) The applicant has passed a massage and bodywork competency assessment examination that meets generally recognized psychometric principles and standards and that is approved by the council. The successful completion of this examination may have been accomplished before the date the council is authorized by this chapter to begin issuing certificates. This paragraph shall be inoperative commencing on January 1, 2019, and shall become operative on January 1, 2022. 2023.
(4) The applicant has successfully passed a background investigation pursuant to Section 4606, and has not violated any of the provisions of this chapter.
(5) All fees required by the council have been paid.
(6) The council may issue a certificate to an applicant who meets the qualifications of this chapter if the applicant holds a current and valid registration, certification, or license from any other state whose licensure requirements meet or exceed those defined within this chapter. If an applicant has received education at a school that is not approved by the council, the council shall have the discretion to give credit for comparable academic work completed by an applicant in a program outside of California.
(b) A certificate issued pursuant to this chapter and any identification card issued by the council shall be surrendered to the council by any certificate holder whose certificate is suspended or revoked.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4621 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

4621.
 (a) This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2022, 2023, and as of that date is repealed.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the powers and duties of the council shall be subject to review by the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature, in extending the operation of this chapter to January 1, 2023, that there be subsequent consideration of legislation to create a new state board and a new category of licensed professional in accordance with Section 9148.4 of the Government Code.

SECTION 1.Section 4602 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:
4602.

(a)The California Massage Therapy Council, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 4601, is hereby established and shall carry out the responsibilities and duties set forth in this chapter.

(b)The council may take any reasonable actions necessary to carry out the responsibilities and duties set forth in this chapter, including, but not limited to, hiring staff, entering into contracts, and developing policies, procedures, rules, and bylaws to implement this chapter.

(c)The council may require background checks for all employees, contractors, volunteers, and board members as a condition of their employment, formation of a contractual relationship, or participation in council activities.

(d)The council shall issue a certificate to an individual applicant who satisfies the requirements of this chapter for that certificate.

(e)The council is authorized to determine whether the information provided to the council in relation to the certification of an applicant is true and correct and meets the requirements of this chapter. If the council has any reason to question whether the information provided is true or correct, or meets the requirements of this chapter, the council is authorized to make any investigation it deems necessary to establish that the information received is accurate and satisfies any criteria established by this chapter. The applicant has the burden to prove that they are entitled to certification.

(f)The council shall be governed by a board of directors comprised of 13 members who shall be chosen in the following manner:

(1)One member shall be a representative of the League of California Cities, unless that entity chooses not to exercise this right to appoint.

(2)One member shall be a representative of the California Police Chiefs Association, unless that entity chooses not to exercise this right to appoint.

(3)One member shall be a representative of the California State Association of Counties, unless that entity chooses not to exercise this right to appoint.

(4)One member shall be a representative of an “anti-human trafficking” organization to be determined by the council. This organization shall appoint one member, unless the organization chooses not to exercise this right to appoint.

(5)One member shall be appointed by the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, unless that office chooses not to exercise this right to appoint.

(6)One member shall be a member of the public appointed by the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs, unless the director chooses not to exercise this right to appoint.

(7)One member shall be appointed by the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools, unless that entity chooses not to exercise this right to appoint.

(8)One member shall be appointed by the American Massage Therapy Association, California Chapter, who shall be a California-certified massage therapist or massage practitioner who is a California resident and who has been practicing massage for at least three years, unless that entity chooses not to exercise this right to appoint.

(9)One member shall be a public health official representing a city, county, city and county, or state health department, to be determined by the council. The city, county, city and county, or state health department chosen, shall appoint one member unless that entity chooses not to exercise this right to appoint.

(10)(A)One member shall be a certified massage therapist or a certified massage practitioner who is a California resident who has practiced massage for at least three years prior to the appointment, selected by a professional society, association, or other entity which membership is comprised of massage therapist professionals, and that chooses to participate in the council. To qualify, a professional society, association, or other entity shall have a dues-paying membership in California of at least 1,000 individuals, have been established since 2000, and shall have bylaws that require its members to comply with a code of ethics.

(B)If there is more than one professional society, association, or other entity that meets the requirements of subparagraph (A), the appointment shall rotate based on a four-year term between each of the qualifying entities. The qualifying entity shall maintain its appointment authority during the entirety of the four-year term during which it holds the appointment authority. The order in which a qualifying professional society, association, or other entity has the authority to appoint shall be determined by alphabetical order based on the full legal name of the entity as of January 1, 2014.

(11)The members appointed to the board in accordance with paragraphs (1) to (10), inclusive, shall appoint three additional members, at a duly held board meeting in accordance with the board’s bylaws. One of those appointees shall be an attorney licensed by the State Bar of California, who has been practicing law for at least three years and who at the time of appointment represents a city in the state. One of those appointees shall represent a massage business entity that has been operating in the state for at least three years. The council shall establish in its bylaws a process for appointing an additional member, provided that the member has knowledge of the massage industry or can bring needed expertise to the operation of the council for purposes of complying with Section 4603.

(g)Board member terms shall be for four years.

(h)The board of directors shall establish fees reasonably related to the cost of providing services and carrying out its ongoing responsibilities and duties. Initial and renewal fees for certificates shall be in an amount sufficient to support the functions of the council in the administration of this chapter, but in no event shall exceed three hundred dollars ($300). The renewal fee shall be reassessed biennially by the board.

(i)The meetings of the council shall be subject to the rules of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code). The board may adopt additional policies and procedures that provide greater transparency to certificate holders and the public than required by the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act.

(j)Before holding a meeting to vote upon a proposal to increase the certification fees, or the fee for inspection or approval of schools, the board shall provide at least 90 days’ notice of the meeting, including posting a notice on the council’s internet website unless at least two-thirds of the board members concur that there is an active threat to public safety and that voting at a meeting without prior notice is necessary. However, the board shall not waive the requirements of subdivision (i).

(k)If the board approves an increase in the certification fees, the council shall update all relevant areas of its internet website and notify all certificate holders and affected applicants by email within 14 days of the board’s action.

(l)The council shall assess its contact with non-English speakers. Based on this assessment, the council shall offer and make available all publicly available written and electronic materials provided to certificate holders and applicants in languages other than English that the council determines will be used by a substantial number of non-English speakers who are in contact with the council. This subdivision shall not apply to examinations, denial and disciplinary legal documents, and email communications. The council shall provide a report to the Legislature on the findings of its assessment of contact with non-English speakers on or before January 1, 2019.