Honorable Carlos Uresti, Chair, House Committee on Government Reform
John S. O'Brien, Deputy Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB2696 by Anchia (Relating to the licensing and regulation of massage therapy and massage establishments and certain services related to massage; providing penalties.), As Introduced
The provision of the bill that is the subject of this analysis would amend the Occupations Code by enhancing the penalties for certain offenses related to the licensing and regulation of massage therapy and massage establishments. The proposed penalty changes would enhance certain offenses to a Class B misdemeanor, unless a person has been previously convicted one or two times, in which case the offense would be punishable as a Class A misdemeanor. If a person has been previously convicted three or more times, the offense would be punishable as a state jail felony. The offenses identified in this proposal are currently punishable as a Class C misdemeanor unless a person has been previously convicted; in which case a violation is a Class A misdemeanor.
A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.
A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by confinement in county jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, a fine not to exceed $2,000, or both fine and confinement.
A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by confinement in county jail for a term not to exceed one year, a fine not to exceed $4,000, or both fine and imprisonment.
A state jail felony is punishable by confinement in a state jail for any term of not more than two years or less than 180 days, or in addition to confinement, a fine not to exceed $10,000.
Increasing the penalty for any criminal offense is expected to result in increased demands upon the correctional resources of counties or of the State due to longer terms of probation or longer terms of confinement in county jails or prison. Enhancing the penalty for an offense from a misdemeanor to a state jail felony represents a shift in responsibility from local government to the State in dealing with incarceration expenses. In the case of this bill, however, the increased workload and demand for State resources would probably not be substantial.