Kirsten Kolpitcke with the League of California Cities says prostitution at massage parlors has skyrocketed since a non-profit organization started running a voluntary certification program in 2009. She says that’s no surprise given who is on its board.
“The majority of which are either people who own a massage establishment or who represent an association of a massage organization,” says Kolpitcke.
Cities and counties oversaw massage parlors through zoning and other local codes before the California Massage Therapy Council took over the voluntary certification program in 2009. The voluntary program is scheduled to sunset in 2015. Critics say local control should then return and the state should take over certification.
Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez says the program allowing the massage parlor industry to police itself has failed and should be allowed to sunset as scheduled next year.
“There is an overwhelming need to figure out how to control the over-proliferation of illicit massage parlors through the entire state of California,” Gomez says.
The Massage Therapy Council, the organization that certifies massage therapists, says it would like to see the current program retained, but with better coordination with local agencies.
Governor Jerry Brown signed the California budget with no fanfare Thursday.
California lawmakers will take final votes on the state budget Friday. The houses will also each vote on several trailer bills that dictate how the budget will be implemented.
Advocates for the developmentally disabled are furious after being left out of this year’s California budget deal. They held a tense rally at the Capitol Wednesday.
California tends to rank near the bottom in voter turnout. But some state officials say a bill announced Wednesday could help improve participation.
The California Senate has approved a measure that would repeal a rule limiting when families can receive additional state aid.