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.
The 2022 Legislation Session will begin March 14, 2022. Rep Joe Stagni has filed HB 582. This bill will allow Louisiana to sign the Compact for professional counselors.
On Monday, June 6th just before 6:00 PM, both the House & Senate of the Louisiana Legislature adjourned the 2022 Regular Session sine die, meaning the final adjournment. This Session was busy for LCA, and we appreciate your attention to these Legislative Updates & Alerts. With your help, our Counselor Compact bill was passed by the Legislature and is awaiting signature by the Governor! Below is an update on the bills monitored by LCA during this Regular Session.
Over the 85 days of the Legislative Session, the legislature considered 2,300 measures. There were 1,083 House Bills and 499 Senate Bills filed during this general jurisdiction session. Next year, legislators will be in a "fiscal" session, meaning the subject matter of bills will be limited to fiscal/tax matters, except for the 5 bills that each legislator can file for "general jurisdiction" bills. The next regular session is set for April 10 - June 8, 2023.
Legislators are now returning to their home districts, but they will be back next week, as the Governor has called a Special Session to begin on June 15th. This Special Session is in response to Monday's federal court ruling that the congressional maps drawn earlier this year are unconstitutional. That ruling has been appealed, and the appellate verdict will likely be expedited. This Special Session, the second one called this year, will be very contentious. There is also some talk of a "veto override" session potentially being called for later this summer (mid-July), but this is unlikely.
Regardless, legislators are returning home for now. Take a moment to thank your legislators for their time & service at the Capitol. This simple email/note of gratitude will be very much appreciated and is a great way to continue your relationship with your legislators.
We will continue to keep you updated. If you have any questions, concerns, or needs, please lean on your professional association (LCA) and your legislative team at The Tatman Group. We are here for you! You can reach us anytime at LCA@TatmanGroup.com
or (225) 767-7640.
LCA TRACKED LEGISLATION
?Below is a listing of priority bills for LCA. This is not an exhaustive listing. If there is a particular bill(s) you'd like an update on, please let us know. We are tracking a large number of bills covering a wide variety of subject matters.
6/2/22 Enrolled (awaiting Governor action)
HB 334 by Rep. Duplessis | Provides relative to employment with behavioral health services providers of peer support specialists.
8/1/22 Effective as Act 151, signed by the Governor
6/1/22 Enrolled (awaiting Governor action)
HB 439 by Rep. Boyd | Provides relative to employment discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
5/12/22 Involuntarily deferred in House Committee on Labor
6/3/22 Enrolled (awaiting Governor action)
HB 453 by Rep. Lance Harris | Requires each public school governing authority to post on its website information relative to instructional materials and activities for each school under its jurisdiction.
5/4/22 Voluntarily deferred in House Committee on Education
HB 454 by Rep. Larvadain | Requires instruction relative to conflict resolution and character development in public schools.
3/3/22 Referred to House Committee on Education (Not heard by committee)
HB 495 by Rep. Schlegel | Requires the implementation of suicide prevention, student safety, and violence prevention and social inclusion training and the creation of clubs at certain public schools.
6/1/22 Enrolled (awaiting Governor action)
HB 582 by Rep. Stagni | Joins Louisiana to the licensed professional counselors interstate compact. **Our Bill**
5/26/22 Enrolled (awaiting Governor action)
HB 605 by Rep. Mandie Landry | Prohibits certain licensed professionals from engaging with any minor in the practice known as conversion therapy.
5/3/22 Voluntarily deferred in House Committee on Health & Welfare
5/26/22 Enrolled (awaiting Governor action)
HB 709 by Rep. Selders | Authorizes behavioral health services providers to furnish services to clients and patients regardless of those persons' location within the state.
6/1/22 Enrolled (awaiting Governor action)
HB 826 by Rep. Bagley | Includes addiction counselors within the definition of "healthcare provider" in the La. Telehealth Access Act.
8/1/22 Effective as Act 189, signed by Governor
HB 837 by Rep. Horton | Provides relative to discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.
5/10/22 Recommitted to House Committee of the Whole
SB 29 by Sen. Cathey | Prohibits discrimination against healthcare professionals and provides for protection of healthcare professional credentials.
4/20/22 Voluntarily deferred in Senate Committee on Health & Welfare
SB 104 by Sen. Mizell | Prohibits certain licensed healthcare facilities from requiring patients and residents to forgo possession of certain communication devices as a condition of receiving services.
5/31/22 Enrolled (awaiting Governor action)
SB 112 by Sen. Robert Mills | Requires health insurers that utilize prior authorization to reduce burdensome delays in approving and in making payments for covered healthcare services.
6/2/22 Enrolled (awaiting Governor action)
SB 213 by Sen. Luneau | Provides relative to specialized behavioral health rehabilitation services in the Louisiana medical assistance program.
6/6/22 Enrolled (awaiting Governor action)
Government Relations Newsletter Article 11/8/2021
Are you interested in an interstate counseling compact that would make our license as professional counselors more easily portable to other states? This is something that LCA will be pursuing and advocating for Louisiana! We are currently working to draft legislation to join the national Counseling Compact in the upcoming 2022 general legislative session. Here are the basics of the Counseling Compact and why it would be a benefit to you!
WHAT IS THE COUNSELING COMPACT?
The Counseling Compact will allow professional counselors in good standing to practice in all states that join the compact. This will remove the hurdle of getting an individual license in each state where they want to practice. The broad goal is to eliminate barriers to practice for counselors and barriers to treatment for clients, by ensuring cooperation among member states in regulating the counseling profession.
- The Counseling Compact is an interstate compact, which is a constitutionally authorized contract between states.
- The Counseling Compact is the same in form and function as other occupational licensure compacts like the Nurse Licensure Compact, the Physical Therapy Compact, and the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.
- The Counseling Compact authorizes in-person practice and telepractice in other compact member states based on a valid, unrestricted home state license.
- The practice of professional counseling takes place in the state in which the client is located at the time of the counselor-client encounter. Counselors must observe the laws and rules of the state in which they are practicing.
- The Counseling Compact will take effect when 10 states have enacted authorizing legislation.
- The National Center for Interstate Compacts at the Council of State Governments facilitated the development of the Compact and is providing technical assistance.
- Preserves and strengthens state licensure systems
- Enhances public safety through a shared interstate database of licensure and disciplinary information, allowing for rapid verification of license status
- Improves access to professional counseling services
- Increases market opportunities for professional counselors by authorizing practice in all member states (including via telehealth)
- Enhances mobility for professional counselors
- Supports relocating military spouses
- Improves continuity of care when counselors or clients travel or relocate
- Ensures cooperation among compact member states in regulating the practice of professional counseling
Louisiana 2021 Legislative Session (April)
LCA Government Relations Committee Update for all LCA members!
Are you aware of two bills currently filed with the Louisiana State Legislature this session seeking to restrict access to gender-affirming care for minors?
LCA supports access to care for all Louisianans and has joined with a growing number of healthcare providers, advocacy groups, and healthcare associations by signing an open letter (created by Louisiana Trans Advocates) to the House and Senate Health & Welfare Committees specifically opposing HB 575 and SB 104. You can see our organization listed here at the bottom of the letter: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1a8OTPbAhnAGFRL9TXp4_ie0xsclgT9RDV0ncno31xVU/edit.
SAIGE-LA, the LCA division , is requesting that all LCA members take this moment to support the access of care for all of the citizens of Louisiana!
The first of the youth gender-related bills (SB 104 by Sen. Fesi related to access to care for transgender youth) was heard in the Senate Health & Welfare Committee last week and was voluntarily deferred, meaning the author pulled the bill back and may rework it to bring again at a later time. 400+ healthcare providers came to the Capitol to oppose the bill and provide testimony. Thank you to Cathleen Castle who provided testimony in the committee along with so many others! This week, Rep. Beryl Amedee's HB 542 ("Fairness in Women's Sports Act") will be heard in committee. The companion bill, SB 156 by Sen. Beth Mizell was reported favorably from committee last week and set to appear on the Senate Floor for debate at any time. One of the gender-related bills (HB 575 by Rep. Firment) was removed from the agenda for today's meeting. We are closely monitoring this series of bills and will keep you updated.
Another concerning bill (HB 564 by Rep. Garofalo) was heard in committee last week. Testimony went on for over 5 hours, and, ultimately, the author voluntarily deferred the bill. Rep. Garofalo has received major backlash on this bill, with the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus requesting the Speaker of the House remove him as Chair of the Education Committee. The Speaker has not yet responded to the request.
Legislative Update: Sine Die - That's a Wrap
for the 2019 Legislative Session
The 2019 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature has adjourned Sine Die, and we have reached the end of the 60 day event. As legislators head back home to their districts and whatever their futures hold, we wanted to update you on a few of the highlights of the session. Please see below.
We now turn from legislative season to elections season. The entire House of Representatives, Louisiana State Senate and all Louisiana Statewide Officials are up for reelection this Fall. We will have one of the largest turnover in legislators in history. It will be incumbent upon each of us to support our friends and to become involved in legislative races of importance.
If you ever have any questions or concerns about legislative issues, please reach out to us at LCA@tatmangroup.com
or (225) 767-7640.
Provides relative to suicide prevention in schools.
Revises procedures relative to students investigated for threats of violence or terrorism.
Provides relative to Medicaid coverage of certain behavioral health services.
Enacts the Louisiana Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
5/8/19 Involuntarily Deferred House Labor and Industrial Relations
Provides for access to applied behavior analysis providers in schools.
Provides relative to parenting education programs and child custody.
Provides relative to the Post-Conviction Veterans Mentor Program.
5/7/19 Voluntarily Deferred in Committee House Administration of Criminal Justice
Commends the Louisiana Counseling Association and designates May 9, 2019, as Louisiana Counseling Association Day at the state capitol.
Provides relative to professional and occupational licensing boards and commissions.
Provides relative to behavioral health services provided to students.
5/30/19 Returned to the calendar - subject to call
Provides relative to bullying.
4/17/2019 Involuntarily Deferred Senate Education
Provides relative to student discipline.
3/28/2019 Referred to Senate Committee on Education
Provides relative to the conduct of adjudication hearings involving and the re-creation of certain state boards and commissions which issue licenses, permits, or certificates.
5/8/2019 Involuntarily deferred in Senate Committee on Commerce
Provides for development of a statewide framework for dual enrollment.
5/14/19 Substituted by SB 243
Creates the Dual Enrollment Framework Task Force.
6/4/19 Senate concurred in House amendments (Vote: Y: 37/N: 0)
SR 63 by Sen. Troy Carter
Designates May 9, 2019, as Louisiana Counseling Association Day at the capitol.
4/25/2019 Enrolled in the Senate
The 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, Donahue
Provides relative to school master plans for supporting student
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:
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.
RS 37 Mental Health Counselors - SB 38 final 6-2-17.pdf