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AB-1456 Professional licensure.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/24/2017 02:19 PM
AB1456:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 24, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1456


Introduced by Assembly Member Low

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Section 1277 of the Health and Safety Code, and to amend Section 5751.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to professional licensure. licensure, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1456, as amended, Low. Professional licensure.

Existing

(1) Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of health facilities by the State Department of Public Health. Existing law prohibits the licensure requirements for professional personnel, including psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and professional clinical counselors, in the state and other governmental health facilities licensed by the department from being less than for those professional personnel in health facilities under private ownership. Existing law authorizes the department to waive that requirement for persons in the profession of psychology who is are gaining qualifying experience for licensure in that profession in this state, and prohibits the waiver from exceeding 3 years from the date the employment commences in this state.
This bill would extend the applicable time for that waiver to 4 years from commencement of the employment in this state, and would authorize the department to grant an extension of the waiver for one additional year.
Existing law, for persons employed as psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, or professional clinical counselors less than full time, also authorizes the department to grant an extension of the waiver of licensure for additional years proportional to the extent of part-time employment, but prohibits the waiver of licensure from exceeding 5 years in the case of psychologists, or 6 years in the case of the other professions.
This bill would extend the applicable time for that waiver to 6 years in the case of psychologists.

Existing

(2) Existing law, the Bronzan-McCorquodale Act, contains provisions governing the operation and financing of community mental health services for the mentally disordered in every county through locally administered and locally controlled community mental health programs. The act requires persons employed or under contract to provide mental health services pursuant to these provisions to be subject to all applicable requirements of law regarding professional licensure, and prohibits a person from being employed to provide services for which a license is required unless the person possesses a valid license. The act requires the State Department of Health Care Services to waive these requirements for persons who have been recruited for employment from outside the state as psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, or professional clinical counselors and whose experience is sufficient to gain admission to a licensing examination, and prohibits the waiver from exceeding 3 years from the date of employment by, or contract with, a local mental health program.
This bill would extend the applicable time for those waivers that waiver to 5 years from the date the employment commences in a health facility in this state, or from the date of employment by, or contract with, a local mental health program under the act.
(3) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: MAJORITY2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 1277 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1277.
 (a) No license shall be issued by the department unless it finds that the premises, the management, the bylaws, rules and regulations, the equipment, the staffing, both professional and nonprofessional, and the standards of care and services are adequate and appropriate, and that the health facility is operated in the manner required by this chapter and by the rules and regulations adopted hereunder.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding any provision of Part 2 (commencing with Section 5600) of Division 5 of, or Division 7 (commencing with Section 7100) of, the Welfare and Institutions Code or any other law to the contrary, except Sections 2072 and 2073 of the Business and Professions Code, the licensure requirements for professional personnel, including, but not limited to, physicians and surgeons, dentists, podiatrists, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, pharmacists, registered nurses, clinical social workers, and professional clinical counselors in the state and other governmental health facilities licensed by the department shall not be less than for those professional personnel in health facilities under private ownership.
(2) Persons employed as psychologists and clinical social workers, while continuing in their employment in the same class as of January 1, 1979, in the same state or other governmental health facility licensed by the department, including those persons on authorized leave, but not including intermittent personnel, shall be exempt from the requirements of paragraph (1).
(3) The requirements of paragraph (1) may be waived by the department solely for persons in the professions of psychology, marriage and family therapy, clinical social work, or professional clinical counseling who are gaining qualifying experience for licensure in such profession in this state. A waiver granted pursuant to this paragraph shall not exceed five years from the date the employment commences in this state in the case of psychologists, or four years from commencement of the employment in this state in the case of marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and professional clinical counselors, state, at which time licensure shall have been obtained or the employment shall be terminated, except that an extension of a waiver of licensure for marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and professional clinical counselors may be granted for one additional year, based on extenuating circumstances determined by the department pursuant to subdivision (e). For persons employed as psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, or professional clinical counselors less than full time, an extension of a waiver of licensure may be granted for additional years proportional to the extent of part-time employment, as long as the person is employed without interruption in service, but in no case shall the waiver of licensure exceed six years in the case of clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, or professional clinical counselors, or five years in the case of psychologists. years.
(4) The durational limitation upon waivers pursuant to paragraph (3) shall not apply to any of the following:
(A) Active candidates for a doctoral degree in social work, social welfare, or social science, who are enrolled at an accredited university, college, or professional school, but these limitations shall apply following completion of this training.
(B) Active candidates for a doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy who are enrolled at a school, college, or university, specified in subdivision (b) of Section 4980.36 of, or subdivision (b) of Section 4980.37 of, the Business and Professions Code, but the limitations shall apply following completion of the training.
(C) Active candidates for a doctoral degree in professional clinical counseling who are enrolled at a school, college, or university, specified in subdivision (b) of Section 4999.32 of, or subdivision (b) of Section 4999.33 of, the Business and Professions Code, but the limitations shall apply following the completion of the training.
(5) A waiver pursuant to paragraph (3) shall be granted only to the extent necessary to qualify for licensure, except that personnel recruited for employment from outside this state and whose experience is sufficient to gain admission to a licensing examination shall nevertheless have one year from the date of their employment in California to become licensed, at which time licensure shall have been obtained or the employment shall be terminated, provided that the employee shall take the licensure examination at the earliest possible date after the date of his or her employment. If the employee does not pass the examination at that time, he or she shall have a second opportunity to pass the next possible examination, subject to the one-year limit for marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and professional clinical counselors, and subject to a two-year limit for psychologists. limit.
(c) A special permit shall be issued by the department when it finds that the staff, both professional and nonprofessional, and the standards of care and services are adequate and appropriate, and that the special services unit is operated in the manner required in this chapter and by the rules and regulations adopted hereunder.
(d) The department shall apply the same standards to state and other governmental health facilities that it licenses as it applies to health facilities in private ownership, including standards specifying the level of training and supervision of all unlicensed practitioners. Except for psychologists, the department may grant an extension of a waiver of licensure for personnel recruited from outside this state for one additional year, based upon extenuating circumstances as determined by the department pursuant to subdivision (e).
(e) The department shall grant a request for an extension of a waiver based on extenuating circumstances, pursuant to subdivision (b) or (d), if any of the following circumstances exist:
(1) The person requesting the extension has experienced a recent catastrophic event that may impair the person’s ability to qualify for and pass the license examination. Those events may include, but are not limited to, significant hardship caused by a natural disaster, serious and prolonged illness of the person, serious and prolonged illness or death of a child, spouse, or parent, or other stressful circumstances.
(2) The person requesting the extension has difficulty speaking or writing the English language, or other cultural and ethnic factors exist that substantially impair the person’s ability to qualify for and pass the license examination.
(3) The person requesting the extension has experienced other personal hardship that the department, in its discretion, determines to warrant the extension.

SEC. 2.

 Section 5751.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

5751.2.
 (a) Except as provided in this section, persons employed or under contract to provide mental health services pursuant to this part shall be subject to all applicable requirements of law regarding professional licensure, and no person shall be employed in local mental health programs pursuant to this part to provide services for which a license is required, unless the person possesses a valid license.
(b) Persons employed as psychologists and clinical social workers, while continuing in their employment in the same class as of January 1, 1979, in the same program or facility, including those persons on authorized leave, but not including intermittent personnel, shall be exempt from the requirements of subdivision (a).
(c) While registered with the licensing board of jurisdiction for the purpose of acquiring the experience required for licensure, persons employed or under contract to provide mental health services pursuant to this part as clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, or professional clinical counselors shall be exempt from subdivision (a). Registration shall be subject to regulations adopted by the appropriate licensing board.
(d) The requirements of subdivision (a) shall be waived by the State Department of Health Care Services for persons employed or under contract to provide mental health services pursuant to this part as psychologists who are gaining the experience required for licensure. A waiver granted under this subdivision shall not exceed five years from the date of employment by, or contract with, a local mental health program for persons in the profession of psychology.
(e) The requirements of subdivision (a) shall be waived by the State Department of Health Care Services for persons who have been recruited for employment from outside this state as psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, or professional clinical counselors and whose experience is sufficient to gain admission to a licensing examination. A waiver granted under this subdivision shall not exceed five years from the date of employment by, or contract with, a local mental health program for persons in these four professions who are recruited from outside this state.

SEC. 3.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
To allow specific types of mental health providers who are at risk of being unable to work without extended license waivers to continue to provide critical mental health services within this state, it is necessary for this act to take effect immediately.