A spreadsheet we produced identifies more than 1,700 felonies and misdemeanors in Texas law, and even more were added by the 80th Texas Legislature.

However, it appears that personal trainers and dance, yoga, and Pilates instructors will not have to bend to the long arm of one such (clumsily written) law. HB 2644 provided that a person commits a criminal offense if they, in exchange for compensation, “perform any service with a purported health benefit that involves physical contact with a client” without obtaining a government license. While Gov. Rick Perry signed the legislation, he wrote to a worried Pilates instructor from Austin that he had “serious concerns about the potential impact the legislation could have on certain professions.”

Fortunately, the Department of State Health Services told us that they will flex the literal language so as not require any of these professionals to obtain a license. With this decision, the only impact of the bill will be to increase the continuing education requirements for massage therapists, who are already licensed.

Meanwhile, Texans can ponder whether yoga would be even more relaxing if only the instructor was under the supervision of state bureaucrats.

– Marc Levin