Jan 29, 2015
Schwarzenegger “Terminates” ATC Licensure in the Golden State

California is one of only six states that doesn’t regulate or officially recognize the title of athletic trainer. And after an October veto by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, that won’t be changing for now.

The Athletic Trainers Registration Act, which passed convincingly through the California legislature this summer, would have established certification for athletic trainers in the state and imposed penalties on any uncertified person who represented themselves as an “athletic trainer,” “certified athletic trainer,” “registered athletic trainer,” or “ATC.” It was introduced by State Sen. Alan Lowenthal on behalf of the California Athletic Trainers Association (CATA), which warned that under existing law, anyone could pass themselves off as an athletic trainer regardless of their education and skill level.

In Schwarzenegger’s veto message, he explained his decision in terms of small-government conservatism. “There is no evidence that the existing unregulated status of athletic trainers poses any threat to public health and safety,” he wrote to the state senate. “While there may be a benefit to consumers by providing a distinction for certified athletic trainers, this bill would place unnecessary regulatory burdens on the athletic training profession.”

CATA President Mike West, while disappointed by the veto, vows to continue the fight for recognition. “Have faith that though disappointed, your leadership is not discouraged,” he wrote on the CATA Web site in October. “Much was learned along the way that will ultimately assist us with whatever our next move might be.”


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