Summary of 2019 legislative session activity (April 8, 2019-June 6, 20190):
  1. 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.
  2. LPA took positions on several bills in the 2019 session:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
  3. 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:
    1. SB 211, Horton – Provides relative to Medicaid coverage of certain behavioral health services
    2. HB 248, Brown – Provides for parenting coordinators in child custody proceedings
    3. HB 320, Simon – Provides for access to applied behavior analysis providers in schools
    4. HB 53, Moss – Provides relative to suicide prevention in schools 
    5. HB 193, Bacala – Revises procedures relative to students investigated for threats of violence or terrorism
    6. HB 238, Wright – Requires the use of video cameras in classrooms where special education services are provided to certain students with exceptionalities