Legislative News March 7, 2013

Legislative news – 03/07/2013

Legislative Funnel Report

Involuntary Commitments: SSB 1192 (as currently numbered) implements the recommendations of the DHS/Judicial workgroup on streamlining commitment procedures. This bill includes language that allows the courts to develop a pre-screening mechanism that shall be offered before any involuntary commitment proceedings move forward. The bill ensures that this requirement is only if such a mechanism is available in that county. The bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. IAMFT and IMHCA are registered as undecided on the bill. The bill remains alive but there is no companion in the House.

Suicide Prevention Training: SF 337 would establish a task for within the Department of Public Health to identify the appropriate training curriculum to help school personnel identify potential signs of suicide in 6-12 grade students and how to refer those students to receive assistance. The bill would require all teachers and other school employees that are licensed through the Board of Educational Examiners to complete this training prior to recertification. This bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee with an amendment to add school nurses to the task force and to eliminate the requirement of a minimum of two hours of training. A similar bill, HF 327, did not advance in the House. IAMFT and IMHCA are registered in support of this bill.

Truth In Advertising: Two bills that would require that individuals licensed under Chapter 147 clearly identify their licensure remain alive this legislative session. SSB 1132 (as currently numbered) and HF 418 are priorities for the Iowa Medical Society. Both bills have cleared their respective chambers Human Resources Committee. The bill was amended in the House to ensure that an individual licensed under this chapter only has to wear a name badge while in a hospital or clinical setting. IAMFT and IMHCA are registered as undecided on both bills.

DHS Subacute System Technical Corrections: Two bills brought forth by DHS have survived the legislative funnel. SF 203 was approved by the Senate Human Resources Committee with no changes. The bill says that a physician must have oversight of medical treatment plans for patients in a subacute facility. The House version, HF 419, faced a more difficult path to approval. The ARNPs objected to the language in the original legislation and wanted to allow nurses to have sole authority of subacute care facilities. The language that was adopted by the House Human Resources Committee is nearly identical to language governing treatment for patients in psychiatric medical institutions for children (PMIC). This language states that a subacute facility shall use a team of mental health professionals to direct services. It further clarifies that a mental health professional shall over see the treatment plan of an individual within a facility. IAMFT and IMHCA are registered as undecided on

these bills.

Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Stipends: SF 330 was approved by the Senate Human Resources Committee. This bill would create a stipend program for graduating social workers who work in mental health shortage areas. The subcommittee discussed the option of adding to the program marital and family therapists and mental health counselors but adopted the bill without amendment. I will continue to work with the bill’s floor manager, Senator Pam Jochum, to push for an amendment on the floor. A House companion bill, HF 441, was introduced this week but failed to survive the funnel deadline. IAMFT and IMHCA are registered as undecided on the bills.

Licensure for Substance Abuse Counselors: HSB 185 was approved by the House Human Resources Committee. This bill would create a licensure program for addiction counselors under the purview of the Board of Behavioral Science. The legislation expands the board’s membership to include three addiction counselors to balance the membership on the board. IAMFT and IMHCA are registered as undecided on the bill.

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