SB 0603 Revises the regulation and licensing of professional addiction counselors
Sponsor:Kennedy Co-Sponsor(s)
LR Number:1927S.01I Fiscal Note:1927-01
Committee:Financial and Governmental Organization, Veterans' Affairs & Elections
Last Action:03/03/03 - Second Read and Referred S Financial & Governmental Journal page:S359
Organization, Veterans' Affairs & Elections Committee
Effective Date:August 28, 2003
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Current Bill Summary

SB 603 - This act provides for the regulation and licensing of professional addiction counselors.

New definitions are provided relating to addiction counseling (Section 337.800). Any person is prohibited from using certain titles related to addiction counseling without a license. These provisions do not apply to certain practitioners who have specialty training in addiction counseling. As of August 28, 2005, every person practicing as an addiction counselor must comply with all educational, training and examination requirements and be licensed under these sections. Licensed addiction counselors must have professional liability insurance coverage (Section 337.803).

This act should not be construed to require persons to employ licensed addiction counselors if not otherwise required to do so by law. This act does, however, require addiction counselors in private practice to be licensed (Section 337.806).

Applicants for licensure must follow procedures outlined by the Board of Licensed Addiction Counselors for initial licensure and renewal (Section 337.809).

Applicants must provide evidence to the Board that all licensure, education, and training requirements have been met and must successfully pass a licensure examination adopted by the Board. Any person licensed as an addiction counselor in another state that has substantially the same requirements shall receive a license by reciprocity. Temporary licenses may also be issued for up to 18 months. Limited licenses under supervision may be issued to those who do not meet the licensure requirements. All applicants must authorize the Board to complete criminal background checks (Section 337.812).

The Board is authorized to promulgate rules regarding application, fees, examination, levels of licensure, grievances and appeals, reciprocity, and ethical standards (Section 337.815). The Board may refuse to issue or renew a license and the allowable causes for the Board to file a complaint are outlined in the section. Administrative hearing procedures will apply. Persons reporting violations in good faith will not be subject to liability. Upon a finding by the administrative hearing commission on one or more of the grounds listed in this section, the Board may censure, place on probation for up to five years or revoke a person's license (Section 337.818).

Any person violating the requirements of this act will be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. Upon conviction, all compensation received for services must be refunded. The Division of Professional Registration may sue and the Attorney General may request an injunction against the violator (Section 337.821). Confidentiality requirements, with certain exceptions, of addiction counselors are outlined (Section 337.824).

The State Board of Licensed Addiction Counselors is established to advise the Division of Professional Registration. The Board, comprised of eleven members, will take effect on January 1, 2004. The Board will consist of four members that are public members and seven members that are licensed addiction counselors. The seven addiction counselor members must be eligible for licensure within twelve months of appointment and may not be licensed in any other behavioral health profession. Members may receive up to a $150 per diem (Section 337.827). The State Board of Licensed Addiction Counselors Fund is also created (Section 337.830).

This act is similar to SB 1226 (2002).