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 and toolkit.
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:
HB 477, Stagni – Authorizes the La. State Board of Examiners of Psychologists to implement fees for certain services. Supporting
HB 324, Hilferty – Prohibits corporal punishment in public elementary and secondary schools. Supporting
HB 411, Hughes – Provides relative to student discipline. Supporting
HB 129, Bacala – Provides relative to peace officers. Supporting
SB 104, Fesi – Provides relative to gender therapy and minors. Opposing
HB 575, Firment – Restricts prescribing and dispensing of certain drugs to delay puberty and prohibits withholding of certain information from the minor’s parent or legal guardian. Opposing
SB 156, Mizell – Provides for the fairness in women’s sports act relative to a school’s ability to offer opportunities to each student to participate in team sporting events on an equal basis. Opposing
HB 542, Amedee – Provides for the fairness in women’s sports act relative to a school’s ability to offer opportunities to each student to participate in team sporting events on an equal basis. Opposing
HB 136, Carpenter – Provides relative to suspensions and expulsions of public school students. Monitoring
HB 156, Freiberg– Provides for changing the job title of school guidance counselor to school counselor. Monitoring
HB 170, Marino – Provides relative to reporting of students identified as having dyslexia. Monitoring
HB 204, Turner – Provides relative to the delivery of Medicaid-funded services for persons with disabilities. Monitoring
HB 270, Magee – Provides for definitions and exemptions relative to telemedicine and telehealth. Monitoring
HB 522, Selders – Provides relative to processing of reports of child abuse and neglect by the Dept. of Children and Family Services. Monitoring
HB 564, Garofalo – Provides relative to training with respect to certain concepts related to race and sex in elementary and secondary schools and postsecondary education institutions. Monitoring
SB 38, Foil – Provides relative to the terms of the members of the Louisiana Behavior Analyst Board. Monitoring
SB 86, Foil – Requires the governing authority of each public school to develop and adopt policies for the installation and operation of video cameras in certain classrooms. Monitoring
SB 145, Ward – Provides relative to mandatory drug testing, screening, and assessment for drug and specialty court participation for certain offenders. Monitoring
SB 155, Bouie – Provides relative to the Louisiana Social Work Practice Act. Monitoring
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.