Suncoast Mental Health Counselors Association

October 2019 Legislative Update

  • Friday, October 18, 2019 12:05 PM
    Message # 8064353
    AARON NORTON (Administrator)

    National/Federal Legislative Update

    1. Licensure Portability: Our national chapter, AMHCA, has worked tirelessly with several other counseling organizations to create a national plan for licensure portability, which was recently revised and is now referred to as NCLEP 2.0.  Licensure portability is the next step towards an interstate compact that would enable counselors to easily be licensed in multiple states.  Also, portability can help counselors get Medicare and make it easier to provide e-therapy sessions/telehealth/telecounseling.  Click here to read more.
    2. Free Telemental Health Laws App: By the way, there is a free telemental health laws app now available that gives counselors information about telehealth laws state-by-state, so if, for example, your client will be in Texas for two months and wants to telehealth sessions, you can open your app and find out if Texas permits you to provide telehealth with someone who is physically in their state if you are not licensed in Texas.
    3. Mandatory Clearinghouse for Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs): If you are a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) who is qualified to conduct evaluations for violations of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation-administered federal code 49 CFR, Part 40, it is important for you to know that effective 1/6/20 all SAPs will be required to track their FMCSA-related evaluations in a federal drug and alcohol clearinghouse.  To get set up and prepared for this, use this link: Register Now 
    4. National Suicide Hotline Designation Act: One of our board members, Ken Donaldson, posted information on the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, which would create a nationwide easy-to-remember number (similar to 911 and 411) for people to call who are in crisis.  If you'd like to learn how you can support this legislation, click here to read Ken's post.
    5. Other Federal Legislative Updates: Click here to read the most recent federal legislative update from Joel Miller at AMHCA.


    State Legislative Update

    1. Florida Passes New Telemental Health Law: Click here to download and read a PSA from Michael Holler of FMHCA for important details.
    2. Florida Legislature Introduces Bill that Might Ban Reparative Therapy (a.k.a. Conversion Therapy) (HB 41/SB 180): Click here to read information on this bill from Equality Florida.  FMHCA's government relations committee is currently working on a statement that would support the ban.  Click here to read AMHCA's position statement on reparative therapy.   
    3. Florida 491 Board Creates New Rule(s) for Qualified Supervisors: Click here to read a PSA from Michael Holler, the Ethics Committee Chair of FMHCA, on new rules that apply to qualified supervisors in Florida.
    4. Licensure Portability in Florida: Right now, FMHCA's Government Relations Committee (GRC) and FMHCA's lobbying firm are working together with legislators on a standalone bill that would create licensure portability in Florida.  The GRC will soon be announcing a call to action with more details.

Suncoast Mental Health Counselors Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.
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Suncoast Mental Health Counselors Association
P.O. Box 110002 
Bradenton, FL 34211

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