Summary of 2019 legislative session activity (April 8, 2019-June 6, 2019):
- During the 2019 legislative session, the legislative and governmental affairs committee closely monitored legislation that had the potential to impact the practice of psychology in Louisiana. The committee worked with our lobbyist and met weekly during the session to discuss LPA positions and actions regarding legislative issues.
- LPA took positions on several bills in the 2019 session:
- SB 336, Lyons: Support – Exempts certain school-based behavioral health service providers from the Behavioral Health Services Provider Licensing Law. This would be a first step in restoring their ability to bill Medicaid for services rendered. LPA supported this bill as it enhances and supports the practice of Louisiana school psychologists who are currently practicing in the school system as certified school psychologists.
- SB 187, Milkovich: Oppose – Provides relative to the conduct of adjudication hearings involving and the re-creation of certain state boards and commissions which issue licenses, permits, or certificates. LPA feels very strongly that the rights of licensees should be protected, and that due process should always be upheld. However, the proposed methodology in SB 187 for how to accomplish this is inherently flawed and takes away many protections to licensees that have been put into place. LPA has been actively working with LSBEP in crafting a new complaints process and discipline proceedings for the past two years. The purpose in this is to ensure due process, fairness, and build checks and balances into the system to achieve fairness. SB 187 undoes much of this work, and LPA therefore opposed the legislation.
- HB 503, Edmonds: Oppose – Provides relative to licensing qualifications. LPA opposed this bill as it negatively impacts the licensing process for psychologists and could negatively impact the profession. LPA successfully sought an amendment to exempt psychology and the psychology board out of this bill. This was in line with exemptions of other health professions, including the boards for physicians, nurses, and dentists, as well as some non-healthcare boards.
- SB 146, Morrel: Support – Prohibits the incarceration of victims of domestic violence and sex offenses who refuse to testify against their abusers. LPA supported this legislation as it protects the rights of victims against further traumatization.
- The committee also closely monitored many other legislative issues and bills. Often monitoring is an active process, including reaching out to governmental parties to educate and explain issues from a psychological perspective. While this is not an exhaustive list, some bills that were closely monitored in 2019 include:
- SB 211, Horton – Provides relative to Medicaid coverage of certain behavioral health services
- HB 248, Brown – Provides for parenting coordinators in child custody proceedings
- HB 320, Simon – Provides for access to applied behavior analysis providers in schools
- HB 53, Moss – Provides relative to suicide prevention in schools
- HB 193, Bacala – Revises procedures relative to students investigated for threats of violence or terrorism
- HB 238, Wright – Requires the use of video cameras in classrooms where special education services are provided to certain students with exceptionalities
2021 Legislative Update:
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