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SB-968 Postsecondary education: mental health counselors.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 01/31/2018 09:00 PM
SB968:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 968


Introduced by Senator Pan

January 31, 2018


An act to add Section 66027.7 to the Education Code, relating to postsecondary education.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 968, as introduced, Pan. Postsecondary education: mental health counselors.
Existing law establishes the segments of postsecondary education in this state, including the University of California administered by the Regents of the University of California, the California State University administered by the Trustees of the California State University, the California Community Colleges administered by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, and independent institutions of higher education. Existing provisions of the Ortiz-Pacheco-Poochigian-Vasconcellos Cal Grant Program set forth the requirements for status as a “qualifying institution” whose students are eligible, if as individuals they meet pertinent program requirements, to receive Cal Grant awards. Existing law provides for licensing and regulation of various professions in the healing arts, including physicians and surgeons, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, educational psychologists, clinical social workers, and licensed professional clinical counselors.
This bill would require the Trustees of the California State University, the governing board of each community college district, and the governing body of each independent institution of high education that is a qualifying institution, and request the Regents of the University of California, to hire one full-time equivalent mental health counselor per 1,000 students at each of their respective campuses to the fullest extent consistent with state and federal law. The bill would define mental health counselor for purposes of this provision. The bill would require those institutions, on or before January 1, 2020, and every 3 years thereafter, to report to the Legislature how funding was spent and the number of mental health counselors employed on each of its campuses, as specified. To the extent that these provisions would impose new duties on community college districts, it would constitute a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 66027.7 is added to the Education Code, to read:

66027.7.
 (a) (1) The Trustees of the California State University, the governing board of each community college district, and the governing body of each independent institution of high education that is a “qualifying institution,” as defined in Section 69432.7, shall, and the Regents of the University of California are requested to, hire one full-time equivalent mental health counselor per 1,000 students at each of their respective campuses to the fullest extent consistent with state and federal law.
(2) Where possible, mental health counselors hired under paragraph (1) should be full-time staff.
(b) The number of mental health counselors as computed pursuant to subdivision (a) shall constitute the minimum number of mental health counselors to be hired on a campus based on the campus student population. Additional mental health counselors may be hired in accordance with additional needs identified on a campus.
(c) For purposes of this section, “mental health counselor” means a person who provides individual counseling, group counseling, crisis intervention, emergency services, referrals, program evaluation and research, or provides outreach and consultation interventions to the campus community, or any combination of these, and who is licensed in the State of California by the applicable licensing entity.
(d) On or before January 1, 2020, and every three years thereafter, a postsecondary educational institution subject to this section shall report to the Legislature, consistent with Section 9795 of the Government Code, how funding was spent and the number of mental health counselors employed on each of its campuses.

SEC. 2.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.