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Minutes for SB193 - Committee on Public Health and Welfare

Short Title

Making amendments to behavioral sciences regulatory board licensing for certain professions.

Minutes Content for Thu, Feb 21, 2019

Chairperson Suellentrop opened the hearing on SB193. Scott Abbott, Staff Revisor gave an overview of SB193.

Max Foster testified as a proponent of SB193. He said the focus of SB193 is to modify existing statutory requirements concerning licensure by reciprocity so that individuals who are currently licensed in another state may be able to be licensed in Kansas, while maintaining essential protection of the public. A licensed clinical Social Worker from another state must show proof that the licensure requirements for the Master's level license from their state are substantially equivalent to those of the Master's level license in Kansas and meet two of the following three requirements: 1) has passed the Association of Social Work Boards clinical exam; 2) has 3 years' experience of clinical practice which includes direct client contact diagnosing or treating mental health disorders and/or 3) an attestation, signed by a professional licensed to diagnose and treat mental health disorders in independent practice, who can attest that the applicant has demonstrated competence in diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. (Attachment 3)

Kyle Kessler, in his proponent testimony, stated that SB193 would align clinical social work with the other behavioral health professions licensed by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board, thereby making it easier for individuals licenses in other states to gain licensure in Kansas. (Attachment 4)

Becky  Fast presented proponent testimony stating that the passage of SB193 would resolve the workforce barrier of licensure reciprocity and portability by allowing social workers who are licensed and in good standing with no disciplinary record in another sate to becomes seamlessly licensed in Kansas. Through SB193, the Kansas Legislature has the opportunity to increase citizens' access to mental health care by increasing access to appropriately trained licensed professionals. She encouraged the Committee to advance SB193 with additional revisions to KSA 65-6306 (D) by amending post-graduate supervision hours to three thousand hours and direct supervision hours to one hundred hours. (Attachment 5)

Tabitha Reavis testified in support of SB193. As the largest provider of school-based behavioral health services in the state, the need continues to grow as more school districts recognize the value of on-site interventions and supports. The passage of SB193 would help level the playing field by allowing practitioners licensed in other nearby jurisdictions the option, through more equalized reciprocity standards, of choosing to work in Kansas. (Attachment 6)

In proponent testimony, Rachel Marsh stated support of SB193 as it would encourage more social workers to move and work across state lines. SB193 is one step in addressing workforce challenges in child welfare.She would like to see SB193 amended to require 3 years of experience rather than 4 years for reciprocity for LMSWs and LBSWs. (Attachment 7)

There were no questions from the committee.

Written only proponent testimony was submitted by:

Representative Monica Murnan (Attachment 8)

Ethan Belshe, Legislative Liaison, Kansas Department for Children and Families (Attachment 9)

Wendy Funk Schrag, LMSW, ACSW, Fresenius Medical Care (Attachment 10)

Chairperson Suellentrop closed the hearing on SB193.