Politics

Arizona House passes bill requiring stronger criminal background check for massage therapists

The Arizona House of Representatives passed a bill this week that would make background checks for massage therapists more stringent in the wake of a series of complaints about massage therapists sexually abusing their clients.

The bill, which now moves to the Arizona Senate, would require massage therapists to have state-approved fingerprint clearance cards that are mandatory for employees in several fields already, including teachers and school bus drivers.

Without the fingerprint clearance card, a therapist may not hold or renew their license to practice in the state. Under the current law, massage therapists do not have their fingerprints submitted for cards approved by the State Department of Public Safety.

The bill will now move to the Arizona Senate for a vote. Opponents of the bill say the new process would make it harder for the Massage Board to learn the specifics of any convictions on a background check, including whether the individual had taken a plea deal for a lesser offense. 

The bill was amended this week to keep the current background check process in place as well as adding the state fingerprint clearance step to the procedure.

ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: AZ CENTRAL

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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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