NEW YORK—Gov. David Paterson on Wednesday signed a bill that makes yoga instructors and martial arts teachers exempt from state licensing.
Both the state Assembly and Senate passed the bill in response to the Education Department’s Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision, which sent out notices to yoga and martial arts studios saying that they would be fined as much as $50,000 unless they get regulations.
People who teach others to become yoga and martial arts trainers would have also been fined.
At the time, yoga instructors said fines would cripple them, and studios would have to shut down.
Paterson added that the fines would have been too much of a financial burden on yoga instructors because most own small businesses.
"This legislation is important in that it will not place added expenses on our local governments, in addition to not enacting stricter requirements on New York's yoga studios during these difficult times," said Gov. Paterson.
Other than yoga, the exemption covers religious activities, martial arts, poetry, art, painting, athletics, and other recreational activities.
State Sen. Eric Schneidermann from Manhattan said the fines were a “bureaucratic error that I’m happy we corrected,” in a New York Times report earlier this month, when the Assembly and Senate passed the bill.