LPA & the Legislative Process :
LPA is committed to strengthening our political outreach and advocating for the interests of Louisiana psychologists and mental health issues that are important to the public. Through our Legislative & Governmental Affairs Committee, LPA has been instrumental in maintaining standards of psychological practice in Louisiana, protecting patients’ rights, and supporting public policy through psychological science. The current chair of the Legislative and Governmental Affairs committee is Erin Reuther, Ph.D., ABPP.
Every year the Louisiana State Legislature introduces hundreds of bills, some of which affect the practice of psychology. The LPA legislative and governmental affairs committee reviews every bill relevant to psychology to determine the potential impact on psychologists, the patients we serve, and social issues that can be informed by psychological science. The committee, together with the LPA executive council, determines LPA’s position on each bill. We then actively work with legislators throughout the legislative process to advocate for the interests of psychologists and to ensure that policy and legislation is informed by psychological science. To learn more about how a bill becomes law, please visit the Louisiana Legislature.
As an affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA), LPA is involved in federal advocacy initiatives and regularly lobbies for federal issues that affect psychology. For a list of APA’s current advocacy initiatives, please visit APA’s federal advocacy page. The current Federal Advocacy Coordinator is Lacey Seymour, Ph.D. To learn more about how to impact both local and federal advocacy initiatives, please refer to the APA advocacy guide.
Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, priorities for the 2021 legislative session have been focused on addressing budget concerns and addressing needs of the crisis including provisions for tele-health services and ensuring access to care for those in need. Many committee hearings have been postponed.
LPA’s legislative and governmental affairs committee is currently monitoring several bills of interest including:
|Bill no.||Author||title||LPA position||Additional notes|
|HB 605||Landry, M||Prohibits certain licensed professional from engaging with any minor in the practice known as conversion therapy||Support|
|HB 649||Hilferty, S||Prohibits corporal punishment in public schools||Support|
|HB 335||Duplessis, R||Provides relative to behavioral health||Support|
|HB 570||Firment, G||Prohibits certain procedures to alter the sex of a minor child||oppose||Has not been heard by committee. Impacts practice of psychology, putting psychologists in conflict with best practice and the law. Specifically names psychologists as one of the providers.|
|HB 837||Horton, D||Provides relative to discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools||significant concerns||Has not been heard by committee. Would impact the practice of psychologists who are employees of schools, putting them in conflict with law and ethics.|
|SB 44||Mizell, B||provides for the fairness in womens sports act relative to a school’s ability to offer equal opportunities to each student to participate in team sporting events on an equal basis||closely monitor|
|SB 256||Barrow, R||Requires certain assessments of a student prior to suspension from school.||closely monitor|
|HB 64||Landry, M||provides relative to the definition of a child||monitor|
|HB 416||Marino, J||Provides relative to screening of students for dyslexia and other impediments to learning||monitor|
|HB 495||Schlegel, L||Requires the implementation of suicide prevention, student safety, and violence prevention and social inclusion training and the creation of clubs at certain public schools||support|
|SB 213||Luneau, J||provides relative to specialized behavioral health rehabilitation services in the LA medical assistance program||monitor|
|SB 358||Jackson, K||provides relative to acts of bullying||monitor|
|HB 439||Boyd, D||Provides relative to employment discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation||monitor|
|HB 582||Stagni, J||Joins LA to the licensed professional counselors interstate compact||monitor|
We encourage members and the public to stay informed of legislation that impacts the field and practice of psychology in Louisiana. To read the text of any bills, you may go visit the Louisiana Legislature. Once you are at the website, click “Bills” at the top of the page, then “2021 Regular Session” to view and read bills from the current 2021 regular session.
See a separate page for LPA’s previous legislative session activity.