Massage Therapy Act not repealed in state legislature

Massage therapist concerned about repeal to regulation bill

TULSA, Okla. — QUICK FACTS:

  • The latest version of a massage therapy bill in the Oklahoma State Legislature will not repeal the Massage Therapy Act.
  • The Massage Therapy Act passed three years ago. It required massage therapists to become licensed with the state, get continuing education, all to be overseen by the state Cosmetology Board.
  • This session there were several bills related to this. State Bill101 would have repealed the act, saying it put a burden on massage therapists in the state, and would have returned things to how they were prior to the act. But in the last week, it was amended so that it no longer repeals the act.
  • Some local advocates are urging legislators to amended it back to what it originally was.
  • FOX23 has told you that the Tulsa Police VICE Unit says the act has made it harder for them to build cases against potential sex traffickers. Many cities like Tulsa previously had their own ordinances and licensed local businesses, putting enforcement directly into local law enforcement's hands.
  • We also spoke with massage therapists who don't want the act repealed. They told FOX23 that having their industry regulated added legitimacy to those who operate legal, professional businesses. They say it gives them credibility, and hope it helps keep the industry from being overtaken by traffickers or uneducated providers.
  • As of now, SB101 passed the house Tuesday, and will most likely be heard in the Senate next week sometime.

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