In a vote that was more loud bark than vicious bite, Los Angeles council members unanimously supported on June 10 a legislative bill in Sacramento calling for local jurisdictions to have greater oversight to regulate massage parlors.
A resolution introduced at City Hall by Councilman Bernard C. Parks called for his colleagues to support Assembly Bill 1147 (AB 1147), which, according to the City’s chief legislative analyst, enables a local government or jurisdiction “to more effectively zone and regulate massage establishments.”
Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla, D-Concord, proposed AB 1147 in response to the sunset of Senate Bill 731 (SB 731). That bill, enacted by the State legislature and signed into law in 2008, took away local control of regulating massage parlors.
SB 731 was enacted, according to the City’s chief legislative analyst, “to create uniform standards regarding education, training and background investigation for massage practitioners to help professionalize the massage industry in California.”
“Many California cities, including Los Angeles, have been impacted by this provision,” the City’s chief legislative analyst stated. “Cities have seen a significant increase in the number of massage establishments in their jurisdictions, with some areas having very high concentrations, which may not be consistent with local zoning plans.”
SB 731 included a sunset clause, meaning the bill would expire and effectively disappear if it is not renewed or supported.
The bill is scheduled to sunset Jan. 1, 2015.
Los Angeles’ chief legislative analyst stated the council’s resolution would support the sunset of SB 731 and “oppose any legislation which would continue undermining local control” of massage parlors.
If AB 1147 becomes law, local governments would be able to enact regulations requiring massage parlors to obtain a license or permit to operate. AB 1147’s intent is to crack down on human trafficking and prostitution.
The final vote was 11 to 0; Council members Joe Buscaino, Mitch Englander, Jose Huizar, and Nury Martinez were not present for the vote.