SB 978 - This act modifies provisions relating to audiology and speech-language pathology.

The act adds a definition for "clinical fellowship" to provisions of law relating to the licensure of audiologists and speech-language pathologists and states that in order to be eligible for licensure by the State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts by examination, each applicant shall present written evidence of completion of a clinical fellowship.

Under the act, any person in a clinical fellowship shall hold a provisional license to practice speech-language pathology or audiology and shall be issued a license if the person meets requirements set forth in the act.

This act also adopts the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact.

The purpose of the compact is to increase access to audiology and speech-language pathology services by providing for the mutual recognition of other member state licenses. The compact sets forth requirements that must be met in order for a state to join the compact. Each member state shall require an applicant to obtain or retain a license in the home state and meet the home state's qualifications for licensure or renewal of licensure as well as all other applicable state laws.

The compact creates a joint public agency known as the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Compact Commission. The Commission has powers and duties as listed in the compact and shall enforce the provisions and rules of the compact.

The Commission shall provide for the development, maintenance, and utilization of a coordinated database and reporting system containing licensure, adverse action, and investigative information on all licensed individuals in member states.

The compact shall come into effect on the date on which the compact is enacted into law in the 10th member state. Any member state may withdraw from the compact by enacting a statute repealing the same.

The compact shall be binding upon member states and shall supersede any conflict with state law.


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