April 3, 2014
Jill Epstein, JD
1. Discussion of Pending Legislation
a. AB 1702 (Maienschein) – Professions and Vocations: Incarceration – This
bill would provide that an individual who as satisfied any of the requirements
needed to obtain a license while incarcerated, who applies for license upon release
from incarceration, and who is otherwise eligible for the license, shall not
be subject to a delay in processing the application or denial of the license
solely based on the prior incarceration, expect when incarceration was for a
crime substantially related to the qualifications of the business or profession.
The bill is an effort to reward rehabilitation. However, all applicants with
criminal background are sent to Enforcement Division for review of the facts
and nature of the crime, which causes inherent delays. Delays can run from
several weeks to several months.
The Committee recommended to the Board to oppose this bill.
b. AB 2058 (Wilk) – Open Meetings – This bill would make an advisory
body consisting of less than 3 members subject to Bagley-Keene Open Meeting
Act if the body is a standing committee with a continuing subject matter jurisdiction
or has a meeting scheduled fixed by formal action of a state body. This is
an urgency statute and would become effective immediately if signed by Governor.
The concern is that some state agencies are holding meeting with 2 members
to avoid the Open Meeting Act. BBS does use 2-member standing committees to
address Board issues requiring in-depth discussion and analysis. No action
is taken by these Committees and no minutes are posted, though the meetings
are noticed. All recommendations of 2-member standing committees are sent to
a full Committee and Board, which are open meetings.
The Committee recommended to the Board to support this bill.
c. AB 2165 (Patterson) – Professional Vocations: Licenses - This bill
would require licensing boards to review licensing applications within 45 days,
and to issue a license within that 45 days if the applicant meeting licensing
requirements. The bill also requires test be offered at least 6 times a year.
This bill was introduced because applicants are currently experiencing major
delays in licensure application processing times. The purpose is to decrease
application processing delays so that applicants are not forced to be unemployed
while waiting for their application process to be completed.
Mandatory furloughs and hiring freeze, combined with increase in applications
and the addition of the LPCC license, have caused the delays at the BBS. The
Governor’s new budget does authorize 8 additional positions and seasonal
help, which should provide significant relief in applicant processing time.
The Committee was concerned because the flow of applications is never constant
and there is no correlating requirement for necessary positions to review the
applications. Putting a mandated number of days for review in the law sets
an unrealistic expectation that the BBS will not be able to meet. Also, the
author would like to have testing after graduation, which is inconsistent with
BBS licensing rules. That provision is not yet in the bill. The BBS does currently
offer testing continuously, so the Board’s testing procedure is already
in compliance with the proposed bill.
The Committee recommended that the Board oppose this bill.
d. AB 2198 (Levine) –Mental Health Professionals: Suicide Prevention
Training. This bill would require certain mental health professionals to complete
a one-time training in suicide assessment, treatment, and management as part
of their continuing education.
The author’s office indicated that the bill is going to be changed.
Many licensees will have already taken coursework that fulfills this requirement,
either as part of their master’s degree program, or as a separate course.
The bill requires that the suicide assessment course to be administered by
the BBS, which is not within the BBS’ current scope of expertise. The
BBS recommends that this coursework may, at the discretion of the Board, fulfill
the requirement of this section. The BBS acknowledged that they do not have
the technical expertise to conduct an internal study about the effect of training
on the ability of licensees to treat and manage suicidal patients, as required
by the bill.
CAMFT and NASW expressed concerns about adding additional mandatory courses
as continuing education requirements.
The Committee recommended that the Board watch this bill as the language evolves.
e. SB 909 (Pavley) – Dependent Children: Health Screenings – This
bill makes it clear that a social worker may authorize an initial medical,
dental, and mental health screening for a child taken into temporary custody
by a county welfare agency due to immediate danger. Current law requires that
when a minor is taken into temporary custody due to an immediate danger, the
social worker may authorize the personal of medial or other remedial care only
if recommended by the attending physician, etc. and if the parent/guardian
does not object.
The Committee discussed the definition of “social worker” and
whether it should apply to “child welfare social worker” or should
this responsibility to fall only to someone with a certain level of education.
NASW concurred with the BBS concern over who is a “social worker”.
The Committee recommended that the Board support this bill.
f. SB 1012 (Wyland) – MFT: Trainees – This is a CAMFT-sponsored
bill that would remove the limitation of 5 hours of supervision gained per
week toward the 3000 hours of experience required for licensure.
The intent of the bill is to assist MFT interns who are working in a number
of settings simultaneously in order to gain the requisite experience hours
required for licensure and are receiving more than 5 supervised hours per week,
thus gaining hours that cannot be counted.
The BBS looked at the percentage of hours of direct supervision in several
scenarios if the 5 hour maximum limit of supervision is limited. There was
concern that a lack on limit on direct supervision hours could, in some instances,
lead to applicants gaining fewer direct client counseling experience hours
because they are counting more direct supervision hours.
The BBS has established a Committee to review the current “supervision
buckets” and this falls within the bigger issues that Committee will
be discussing. There is concern that bigger legislation could come from that
Committee in the future.
The MFT Evaluator at the BBS believes that increasing to 6 hours is reasonable,
but does not see a benefit beyond that increase. LPCC and LCSW have the same
limitation. Currently, there is a 1000 hour ceiling for supervision hours (but
limited to 5 hours per week).
The Committee recommended that the Board watch this bill and direct staff
to work with CAMFT.
g. SB 1148 (Yee) – MFT: Record Retention. This bill would require an
LMFT to retain patient records for a minimum of 7 years from the date therapy
is terminated or from the date a minor reaches age 18.
The BBS Enforcement Manager noted cases of fraud or sexual misconduct do not
make use of treatment records, so the proposed 7-year statute of limitations
does not raise any issues for Enforcement. The Committee discussed that it
would be beneficial to have the other BBS licensees follow this statute of
limitations. NASW and CALPCC support this bill and the addition of their licensees.
(It was unclear how this affects LEPs). It was suggested that licensees be
made aware that they are not required to destroy records after 7 years, but
instead they may destroy the records after 7 years.
The Committee recommended that the Board support this bill and ask sponsor/author
to consider including all BBS licensees.
h. AB 1505 (Garcia) – Child Abuse: Mandated Reporter. This bill would
specify that consensual acts of sodomy and oral copulation are not acts of
sexual assault that must be reported by a mandated reporter, unless one party
is over age 21 and the other is under age 16.
DCA issued a legal opinion that found that CANRA does not require a mandated
reporter to report incidents of consensual sex between minors of a similar
age for any actions described in PDC Section 11165.1, unless reasonable suspicion
of force or abuse. BBS Counsel supports addressing this issue in law to clarify
the confusion on this topic.
The Committee recommended that the Board support this bill.
2. Consideration as English as a Second Language (ESL) as a possible Testing
In 2011, the BBS stopped accommodating English as a Second Language as it was
not a disability under the ADA. (The BBS had been offering extra time to take
the exam for last yeast 11 years before it was disbanded.) Options to accommodate
ESL include translating the exam (not feasible because of costs) and offering
ESL student extra time. There is no real precedent for accommodation of ESL
students and issues of arbitrary standards of who would qualify as ESL student.
Staff was directed to study statistics of ESL student pass rates and bring
back information about the TOEFL exam.
3. BBS Bills
a. AB 2213 (Eggman): LMFT and LPCC Out-of-State Applicant Requirements.
The BBS Out-of-State Education Committee worked to create new out-of-state
that better accommodate license portability, while still maintaining consumer
protection. The resulting proposal makes changes to the practicum requirements
for out-of-state applicants, as well as allows them to remediate certain
coursework through continuing education, instead of requiring all coursework
to be from
a graduate program.
b. SB 1466 - Omnibus Legislation: This bill makes minor, technical, and non-substantive
amendments to add clarity and consistency to current licensing law.
c. AB 1843 (Jones and Gordon): Child Custody Evaluators: Confidentiality.
This bill seeks statutory authority to access a child custody evaluation report
for the purpose of investigating allegations that one of its licensees, while
serving as a child custody evaluator, engaged in unprofessional conduct in
the creation of the report. Board staff is now investigating a few stakeholder
concerns with the Attorney General’s office.
CAMFT is concerned that subject matter experts be seated on the review panel
and that the reports are kept confidential.
4. Rulemaking Update
a. Continuing Education: Proposed changes were based on the recommendations
of the Board’s Continuing Education Committee. The proposal is currently
under review by the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency. Then,
the proposal goes to Finance and then to Office of Administrative Law. The
proposal must be signed by the Secretary of State by May 31, 2014 in order
to go into effect on July 1.
b. Uniform Standards for Substance Abuse: Proposal was prompted by concerns
that there is a lack of a consistent policy across DCA healing arts boards
for handling cases that involve licensees or registrants who abuse drugs or
alcohol. The proposal was approved by the Board in March, 2014 Staff will submit
the proposal to OAL for publication in the California Regulatory Notice Register,
which will begin the 45-day comment period.
c. LPCCS treating Couples and Families: Proposal clarifies requirements for
LPCCs to treat couples and families and outlines the process by which LPCCS
and PCC Interns would receive Board confirmation that they have meet the requirements.
The proposal was approved by the Board in March, 2014 Staff will submit the
proposal to OAL for publication in the California Regulatory Notice Register,
which will begin the 45-day comment period.
d. Exam Re-Structure: Proposal revises current Board regulations for clarity
and consistency with statutory changes made by SB 704. Because of implementation
conflicts with the new BreEZe sytem, the effective date of the restructure
was delayed until 2016, Staff will be a revised proposal back to Committee
once additional details have been worked through.
5. New Business
May 13 will be a mental health advocacy day in Sacramento.
CAMFT requested that AB 1775 be added to the May Board agenda