A trio of state lawmakers are working to regulate massage parlours in hopes of cracking down on prostitution and human trafficking.
Assemblymembers Susan Bonilla and Chris Holden are joining Jimmy Gomez in introducing legislation they say will "professionalize" the massage therapy industry:
"The assembly bill package will contain a broad range of reforms intended to curb the abuses, protect consumers, and return local land use to local governments," Assemblyman Gomez said.
He continued to say that AB 1147 would require reputable establishments to comply with health and safety requirements.
"The act explicitly reiterates the power of local governments to require certification as a precondition to practice massage in their district," explained the Assemblyman.
The list of prohibited activities would also be expanded to include a prohibition on sexually-suggestive advertising and massage services.
Meanwhile, a Senate measure toughening penalties for anyone who solicits children for prostitution is moving forward after passing through the Senate Public Safety Committee. Senate Minority Bob Huff says it would result in felony prosecution and prison time for people engaging in such activity with anyone under 18-years of age,
"The sobering fact is that there is a steady demand and profit for prostitution of children throughout the state. LA County as well as Sacramento are major hubs for this activity," he said.
Huff continued to say that the average age a victim is trafficked for sexual exploitation is 12 to 14-years but some victims are as young as eight.