State Legislation

What Can You Do Right Now

The first thing to remember is that Government has significant impact on every aspect of your life. Not only do legislative and regulatory actions impact your profession, they also impact your everyday life. It is critical that you are involved in the process to ensure that any changes don't negatively impact your profession and the people you serve. Always remember that the most powerful voice in government is yours. As a constituent, you have the standing and the right to discuss important issues with your elected officials.

Take a moment to reach out to your legislators today. Send them an email or a letter introducing yourself and your involvement in the association. Offer to be a resource to them on issues. Give them your contact information and suggest an opportunity to visit with them before the session begins. Visiting with a legislator prior to session is one of the most effective ways to establish a relationship. Invite one of your colleagues in your area to come along on the visit. There is strength in numbers. A little effort goes a long way.

 Finally, please be sure you are registered to vote. Most legislators keep a list of all registered voters in their district. It is important that they know you are a registered voter in their district. Of course you don't have to live in their district to visit with them. Sometimes your office may be located in their district or you may live in a metropolitan area and be just outside their district. It is still important that you are a registered voter.

 

 

  2018The 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature will convene at noon on Monday, March 12, 2018. Legislators are returning to the State Capitol just days after the conclusion of the First Extraordinary (Special) Session of 2018. This Session marks the 9th time legislators are headed to the Capitol since the current term started in January 2016. According to the Louisiana Constitution, the Session is of general subject matter in even-numbered years. Typically, this means a larger number of bills are filed on a wide range of topics and fields. This year’s bill count is low, but we still expect a fast-paced Session as legislators look ahead to major budget battles to come. 

 

Please take a moment to reach out to your legislators to wish them luck in the Regular Session, thank them for serving, and offer yourself as a resource in issues related to our profession. If you don’t know your legislators, use the link below to find your State Representative and State Senator.

http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/FindMyLegislators.aspx

 

TRACKED LEGILATION FOR 2018

HB 145, Cox

Provides limitations on diagnosing of the disorder commonly known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy and on initiation of child welfare proceedings.

 HB 148, Falconer

Provides for implementation of the zero suicide initiative and a state suicide prevention plan.

HB 154, Magee

Provides relative to access to certain information for purposes of child support enforcement.

Scheduled for House Health & Welfare Committee hearing on March 14, 2018 at 9:00 am

 HB 158, Foil

Provides relative to admissions to treatment facilities under an emergency certificate.

 HB 195, Mack

Provides relative to probation and the defendant's eligibility to earn compliance credits or early termination.

 HB 271, Garofalo

Provides for the carrying of a concealed handgun on school property by certain teachers or administrators.

 HB 387, Edmonds

Revises the Parents' Bill of Rights for Public Schools.

 HB 440, Hodges

Expands DPS&C's substance abuse probation program to include treatment for mental health issues.

 HB 484, Talbot

Provides for a proposition election to authorize fantasy sports contests in Louisiana.

 HB 488, Amedee

Provides relative to the mandatory reporting of certain crimes of sexual abuse of a minor.

 HB 511, Bacala

Requires a mental health evaluation of persons who threaten public safety or physical harm to other persons.

 HB 581, Leger

Provides relative to fuel sales at qualified truck stop facilities as relates to video draw poker devices.

 HB 647, Norton

Requires the La. Department of Health to implement the Medicaid health home option for persons with serious mental illness.

 SB  24, Mills

Provides relative to social work practice.

 SB  40, Mills

Provides relative to health profession licensing board membership.

 B  66, Claitor

Provides relative to admission to treatment facility for mental illness pursuant to emergency certificate.

 SB 197, Peacock

Provides relative to certain limitation on recovery of medical claims.

 SB 260, Milkovich

Provides relative to disciplinary hearings by professional and occupational licensing boards and commissions.

 SB 306, Barrow

Provides relative to Assistive Outpatient Treatment.

 SB 345, Donahue

Provides relative to school master plans for supporting student

 

 WEEK 2:

Legislative Update :: Week Two at the Capitol
 
We are headed into the second week of the 2018 Regular Legislative Session. Last week was fairly busy for a first week, with all committees meeting to hear non-controversial legislation. The Governor and legislative leadership have encouraged legislators to move quickly through this Session, as the bill count is historically low. If they are able to adjourn in mid-May, the Governor will immediately call a Second Special Session, which will run through the original end-date of the Regular Session. The quick start in the first week shows that legislators are working to meet this request. 
 
Please stay tuned, as legislators are working very quickly through legislation. We will continue to keep you updated throughout the process. 

 

 

2017:   All LCA members are urged to take action immediately so that the very important SB 38 will be approved by our state legislature.  The bill will be heard by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee probably NEXT WEEK!

 

This week we need you to contact the members of this committee by phone, email, or posted letter.  Your voice will make the difference in our success.  In the Town Hall Meetings recently held statewide, the rationale for this bill was discussed.  In summary, the bill would remove the Serious Mental Illness language from the Mental Health Counseling law that is negatively impacting LPCs, PLPCs, and the clients we serve.  The names and contact information for the Senate Health and Welfare Committee can be accessed by clicking this link:  http://senate.la.gov/Health&Welfare/Assignments.asp

 

Approval of the bill by this committee is the first step in reaching passage.  We need you to be part of the strong grassroots effort that is underway through LCA.  Please take a few minutes TODAY to contact these senators.  You are encouraged to use the following template for your email, letter, or phone call:

 Talking points:

Month, Day, Year  

The Honorable (Legislators first and last name

Address                                                                                                                                                  

RE: Senate Bill 38 by Senator J. P. Morrell

Dear Senator [Last name]:

My name is [your first and last name] and I am a [Licensed Professional Counselor/Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor/LCA member/Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist,/Provisional Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist] [who resides in your district, if applicable]  I am [writing/calling] to let you know that I am in support of SB 38 authored by Senator J. P. Morrell. The bill will remove the “serious mental illness” language from the Mental Health Counselors Act which governs my professional practice. I am in favor of this bill because

• The serious mental illness language currently limits the public’s access to mental health services, especially for the uninsured and those in rural areas that may lack ready access to medical care.

• The requirement of the current law to consult/collaborate with medical practitioners regardless of the wishes of the client has not improved the quality of client care in Louisiana.

• LPCs and LMFTs will continue to refer clients whose clinical needs fall outside the limits of our training and expertise as has always been required by our Ethical Code and Code of Conduct.

[If you have one, include a personal story. Tell your legislator why the issue is important to you and how it affects you personally and/or professionally.] For these reasons, I am asking you to vote for SB 38.

 Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you for your support!

 Sincerely,

SIGN YOUR NAME

Print your name Street address

City, State, Zip code

June, 2017

SB 38 has passed both the Senate and the House.  It now awaits the signature of Gov. Edwards.

So that readers will better understand the changes that have been made to the Mental Health Law, the following document has been  prepared.

 RS 37 Mental Health Counselors - SB 38 final 6-2-17.pdf

 

 

 


 

 

 

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