Legislative News February 6, 2014

Legislative news – 02/06/2014

Under the Golden Dome

It takes a dedicated individual to keep track of all the subcommittee notices that fly from every direction.  The Legislature is on a fast track toward the February 21 funnel deadline by which time a bill must have passed a committee in one chamber to remain alive for the legislative session.  No idea seems to be too crazy at this point in the legislative session including granting licensure status to midwives and naturopathic physicians.  Budget subcommittees continue to analyze the Governor’s budget recommendations and to gather input from the various interest groups about funding priorities.  


Reimbursement for Temporary Licensure Counselors

House Majority Leader Mark Smith introduced legislation, HF 2142, that would require reimbursement for services provided by mental health counselors with a temporary license.  The temporary license is a required step before becoming fully licensed by the state.  Under Smith’s bill, these individuals would be eligible for reimbursement under the state’s contract with Magellan for behavioral health services.  The bill does not currently extend the same treatment toward marriage and family therapists with a temporary license.  However, Rep. Smith indicated that this was an oversight on his part.  The subcommittee of Rep. Dave Heaton, Rep. Joel Fry and Rep. Lisa Heddens will consider this bill.  IMHCA is registered in support of this legislation.  


Bullying/Suicide Prevention Bills Move Forward

Two bills that would address suicide prevention saw action this week.  HSB 525 and SSB 3149 would address these issues but are different in their approaches.  In addition to providing some additional authority to address bullying in schools, the bills would require that school employees undergo training in suicide prevention.  The Senate version of the bill requires this training for those school employees who have consistent and direct contact with students.  The House version would require any employee under the auspices of the Board of Educational Examiners to undergo this training.   The proposal by the suicide prevention task force convened last fall by the Iowa Department of Education to require trauma-informed care training for all school employees is noticeably absent.  IMHCA is currently registered as undecided on both bills as they take shape through the legislative process.

Submitted by: 

Emily Piper | emily@ialobbyresources.com Piper Consulting Services P.O. Box 12011 | Des Moines, Iowa 50312-2011 Phone: 515-202-7772 | Fax: 866-869-2842