BOSTON — Massachusetts recently passed legislation requiring health clubs to have at least one automated external defibrillator (AED) on site and to train their employees how to use the devices.

The administration of Gov. Mitt Romney, however, is pushing to exempt from the law clubs with fewer than 15 employees. In a letter to lawmakers, Romney and acting Gov. Kerry Healey state while they support the goal of the bill, the requirement to purchase a portable defibrillator could impose a substantial burden on small clubs.

At least 57 of the 837 clubs in Massachusetts have 15 or fewer employees, says Amy Bantham, government relations manager for the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association.