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.
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, DonahueProvides relative to school master plans for supporting student
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:
Month, Day, Year
The Honorable (Legislators first and last name
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!
SIGN YOUR NAME
Print your name Street address
City, State, Zip code
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.