July 23, 2019 Legislative Hearing:
On Tuesday, July 23, 2019, Joseph Weeks, LMHC, Public Policy and Legislation Director for MaMHCA testified in front of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery, on behalf of two important bills that will support LMHC practice and consumer safety:
•HB 1704, An Act Creating a Behavioral Health Workforce Development Trust Fund
•HB 1706, An Act Creating a LMHC Licensing Board, and LMHC Entry-Tier License
Written testimony was also provided to the Joint Committee by Midge Williams, LMHC, MaMHCA Executive Director on each of the Bills; as well as a letter in support signed by members of the MaMHCA Board of Directors. Several members also called and wrote to their legislators and sent copies to the MaMHCA office.
Click Here to view the Executive Director's Letter of Testimony for HB1706
Click Here to view the Executive Director's Letter of Testimony for HB1704 & 1143
The Legislature is in recess for August, and we expect to hear of the Committee’s decisions degrading these bills in September, when we also hope to hear about the scheduling of a hearing for our Section 12 Bill (HB 1705).
Stay tuned for more important updates in the September Newsletter!
Legislative Update - Spring 2019
We have 4 bills currently being sponsored.
Here are the assigned Bill Numbers:
HB 1705 - An Act Expanding Access and Safety of Mental Health Services
This bill is our Section 12 'Parity Bill'
HB 1706 - An Act Establishing a Board of Registration of Licensed Mental Health Counselors
This bill is proposing to increase the efficiency of the Licensing Board by separating mental health counselors (who by far make up the majority of applicants) from the other professions the board of Allied Mental Health currently reviews
This bill also creates an 'entry level' or 1st tier license (LSMHC) for individual who are being Supervised (the S) and working toward the Independent LMHC license
HB 1704 - An Act Relative to Establishing a Behavioral Health Workforce Development Trust Fund
This is the bill that uses existing funds from the Workforce Development Trust Fund, and allows the Behavioral Health field (all professions and licenses in behavioral health) access to these funds in order to pay for supervision needs that currently are an unfunded mandate
Fact Sheets and more specific information about these bills are posted on the Public Policy homepage here. Don't hesitate to download these, send them to colleagues, networking contacts, or any other folks who you think are interested in these important issues facing mental health care, and specifically Mental Health Counselors in Massachusetts!
Please call us at 508-698-0010 (x 203) to find out how you can be involved with lobbying, making phone calls and being a community voice for change, and you can be part of our terrific team. You can also contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org As always, thank you for your support!
Joseph Weeks, LMHC
Director of Public Policy and Legislation