Sen. Brian Williams Files Senate Bills 351 and 352 for the 2019 Legislative Session

JEFFERSON CITY – State Sen. Brian Williams, D-University City, has filed two bills for the 2019 legislative session. Senate Bill 351 would require all teacher-training institutions receiving state funds to require students to demonstrate proficiency in trauma-informed approaches and trauma-specific interventions. Under current law, these institutions already require courses in physical education, first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but lack specific training in trauma-related situations.

“Future teachers already learn how to teach students with different abilities and learning styles, but it is also important that they learn how to teach students experiencing trauma and understand how that can affect their ability to learn,” Sen. Williams said. “Requiring teachers to have trauma-informed skills will help create a welcoming classroom environment and the freedom to have judgment-free discussions with their students.”

Senate Bill 352 will require psychologists, behavior analysts, professional counselors, social workers, baccalaureate social workers and marital and family therapists to complete two hours of cultural competency training as a condition of initial licensure or license renewal with the state. It would also allow physicians, health care practitioners and mental health professionals the opportunity to complete up to two hours of cultural competency training annually as a part of their continuing education requirements for licensure.

“Professionals in the health care, mental health and counseling fields will invariably encounter patients from a wide variety of different cultures, backgrounds and circumstances,” Sen. Williams said. “Therefore, it is imperative that each professional possesses the knowledge and skills needed to provide each patient with the most comprehensive care possible.”

Both bills have been introduced on the Senate floor and will soon be referred to a committee for consideration.

Please visit Sen. Williams’ official Missouri Senate website at