Representative Michaelson Jenet and Representative Landgraf, bill sponsors, introduced House Bill 20-1206. The bill continues the regulation of mental health professionals, including psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, registered psychotherapists, and addiction counselors, for nine years, through 2029. The bill also implements regulatory changes based on the recommendations of the sunset report. These changes include:
- allowing the staff of a mental health board to approve applications for licensure, certification, and registration without board ratification unless the board deems ratification necessary;
- requiring mental health professionals to disclose to clients that medical records may not be maintained after seven years;
- expanding the number of mental health professions covered by title protection;
- making conviction of a crime related to a mental health practice and the failure to report a felony conviction a violation of the mental health practice acts;
- permitting the appropriate regulatory board to suspend a mental health professional's license, certification, or registration for failure to comply with a board-ordered mental or physical health examination;
- repealing the requirement that a candidate for a social work license be supervised by a licensed social worker and allowing supervision of an applicant for a social work license to be done virtually;
- requiring applicants for initial psychology licensure to complete a criminal history record check;
- repealing the requirement that members of mental health boards be United States citizens;
- granting rule-making authority to the State Board of Addiction Counselor Examiners and requiring the State Board of Human Services in the Department of Human Services to establish education requirements for addiction counselors.
The bill also clarifies that:
- mental health professionals may administer opiate antagonists;
- students practicing in a school program are exempt from licensing, certification, and registration requirements;
- mental health professionals are not prohibited from offering or accepting payment for services provided from a referral;
- mental health professionals may disclose confidential communications if there is a threat to a school or its employees; and
- course work is the only professional competency activity that fulfills all continuing competency requirements for licensed social workers and licensed clinical social workers.