Victory

Veto Colorado HB 16-1320

This petition made change with 1,484 supporters!


     Prior to 2008 Colorado had no statewide regulation of Massage Therapy.   Massage therapy was regulated individually in each city and incorporated area. The primary objective for having statewide licensing was to provide 13,000 Colorado Massage Therapists with consistency and portability of regulation. In addition to this was the desire to disassociate legitimate massage therapy from illegal practices, establish a professional designation, and institute educational and ethical standards.

      HB 16-1320 would undo much of the good that was established in 2008. In peppering the Massage Practice act with sexual language, HB 16-1320 alters massage therapy law and license regulation such that legitimately licensed health care professionals will be regulated as if they were some form of “Adult Entertainment”.  

    Human trafficking is a horrible, detestable and growing problem, and it is a battle that we must continue to fight with every tool available. HB 16-1320 does nothing to assist in this battle. Everything that the bill would add to the Massage Practice Act are crimes already covered under Title 18 Criminal Code. There is no lack of applicable code or law. This is evidenced by the recent significant human trafficking crackdown making headlines in Colorado Springs which involved many arrests on multiple charges all accomplished without this bill.

    No other Title 12 Occupations and Professions Articles contain any of this kind of language and there is no need to do this to the Massage Practice Act. Prior to obtaining a license massage therapists are already subjected to a criminal background check. The Massage Practice Act provides sanctions, including license revocation, for those convicted of crimes. Law enforcement already has the capability to pursue the crimes that the sponsors of the bill are concerned with. Here is a list of the relative Title 18 sections that give law enforcement the tools to fight these crimes.

18-7-201. Prostitution prohibited.

18-7-204. Keeping a place of prostitution.

18-7-301. Public indecency.

18-7-302. Indecent exposure.

18-3-503. Human trafficking for involuntary servitude - human trafficking of a minor for involuntary servitude.

18-3-504. Human trafficking for sexual servitude - human trafficking of a minor for sexual servitude.

The current massage act also allows for local authorities to verify massage licenses. (line (2) of 12-35.5-118 C.R.S.) This was also applied in those recent arrests as several were charged for unlicensed massage.

There are no loopholes in the law that would be closed by HB16-1320.

     We commend the objectives of the writers of the bill for their intentions. Human trafficking is a terrible problem in our communities. But the battle against this terrible crime will not be furthered by vilifying legitimately licensed massage therapists. This bill will add significant additional burden and undoubtedly have unintentional consequences for 13,000 Colorado Licensed Professionals.


We urge you to Veto HB 16-1320



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