OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http: //www. cga. ct. gov/ofa

sHB-5455

AN ACT CONCERNING PENALTIES FOR AND THE INVESTIGATION OF THE OPERATION OF ILLEGAL MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 13 $

FY 14 $

Judicial Dept.

GF - Revenue Gain

Potential Minimal

Potential Minimal

Correction, Dept. ; Judicial Dept. (Probation)

GF - Cost

Potential Minimal

Potential Minimal

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill makes it a class “C” misdemeanor for any employer to employ an unlicensed person as a massage therapist, which results in a potential minimal revenue gain to the Judicial Department and a potential minimal cost to the Department of Correction and the Judicial Department. To the extent that offenders are prosecuted criminally and subsequently convicted or plead guilty, the state could incur a cost associated with incarceration and/or probation supervision in the community. On average, it costs the state $3,736 to supervise an offender on probation in the community as compared to $44,165 to incarcerate the offender. Any annual revenue from criminal fines imposed under the bill is anticipated to be minimal. Since 2001, there have been no convicted offenses of engaging in massage therapy without a license.

Current statute allows the Department of Public Health (DPH) to investigate complaints related to advertisements of massage therapy. Nonetheless, it is allowed to do so within its available appropriations and, as such, DPH does not currently investigate complaints related to advertisements of massage therapy, nor does it cause local health departments to do so. 1 Consistent with current practice, no state fiscal impact is anticipated with the inclusion of shiatsu, acupressure, or Thai massage in the categories of massage advertisements that DPH is allowed to investigate.

Should massage advertisement complaints be investigated by DPH, cases heard and prosecuted, and disciplinary actions taken, the cost to the agency would be dependent on (1) the number of advertisements for shiatsu, acupressure, or Thai massage by unlicensed persons that exist in Connecticut and (2) how many related complaints might be made to DPH. If implementation was assumed to begin when the bill becomes effective on 10/1/12, and if a maximum of 500 complaints annually was also assumed, a total state cost of up to $627,000 would be incurred in FY 13. This estimate includes a cost of up to $505,000 to DPH (including Personal Services expenses) and up to $123,000 to the Office of the State Comptroller for associated fringe benefits expenses.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation.

Sources:

Department of Public Health

 

Judicial Department Offenses and Revenue Database

1 DPH does investigate complaints of unlicensed persons practicing massage under the title of “massage therapist,” “licensed massage therapist,” “massage practitioner,” “massagist,” “masseur,” and “masseuse. ” Following an investigation, a case may be heard and prosecuted, and disciplinary action taken.