July 2019 Update
Following is an update on what was done during the legislative session. This report does not begin to speak to what our lobbyists do and the nuances of all the bills. Some bills will say they "failed," when in reality what happened was one bill failed, but the funds within that bill were moved to another bill, so in reality the purpose of the bill passed. COPACT is pleased with the way the session went and we look forward to continuing on our work on behalf of LMFT's, LPC's, and those who need mental health in Oregon. - Steve Rodgers
April 2019 Update
Lobby Day was March 21st, organized by COPACT, the legislative arm for LMFTs and LPCs. Both LMFTs and LPCs were in attendance to discuss and advocate with legislators for COPACT’s agenda: Advancing access to quality mental health care for all Oregonians.
The group was escorted to the House of Representatives chamber floor where Representative Barbara Smith Warner (D-House District 45) recognized us. Then COPACT lobbyists, Elizabeth Remley and Rachael Wiggins Emory divided the large number of attendees into 3 separate groups so that each of us would have an opportunity to meet directly with the legislators representing our districts. In total, we met face-to-face with 13 representatives and 6 senators, advocating for legislation that promotes quality mental health care and protects LPCs, LMFTs and our clients in Oregon.
The event was a huge success and COPACT was well received by all the legislators who attended the meetings.
This past week the first chamber committee deadline was Tuesday (April 9, 2019). Now the Policy Committees will focus on legislation that cleared the opposite chamber. Committee agendas will grow shorter in the next couple of weeks as bills await floor action and then begins a more concerted pace of action as the second chamber committee deadline nears on May 24th. Ways and Means Subcommittees have begun their second look at agency budgets to delve down into new, controversial, or confusing investment proposals. Here’s a list of Priority Bills we are watching, followed by a list of bills that are “dead.”
- HB 2011 - Requires health care professional regulatory boards to require licensees to complete cultural competency continuing education (CE). Amended to require the completion of the CE every other licensing period and to allow for boards to determine what qualifies as a cultural competency CE. The bill passed out of the House Health Care and is awaiting a vote on the floor. COPACT will be working with OBLPCT if the bill passes.
- HB 2447 – Requires the OHA to convene a forum for vertically integrated, nonprofit health care systems to collaborate and envision a health care delivery system of the future. Rep. Greenlick’s health care EPCOT bill. Passed out of House Health Care and awaiting a floor vote.
- HB 2941 – Directs Higher Education Coordinating Commission to require each mental health provider preparation program in this state to prepare plan to recruit and graduate diverse mental health providers. The bill was passed in the Health House Care and is currently in the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.
- HB 3095 – Requires higher reimbursements for behavioral health providers. Applies to providers working in Medicaid/CCOs. The bill passed out of health House Care and is currently in the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.
- HB 3279 – Reimbursement parity between mental health providers and substance abuse providers. Applies to providers working in Medicaid/CCOs. The bill passed out of Health House Care without recommendation on passage and is currently in the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.
- SB 133 – Prohibits provider of substance abuse, problem gambling or mental health services and support from accepting or paying patient referral bonus or falsely advertising individual’s need for services or support or individual’s eligibility to participate in medical assistance program. The bill was amended to prohibit payment of referral fees/commission for substance abuse and mental health services and to prohibit providers from making false statements or misrepresentations about the need to obtain services out of state. The bill was moved to the Senate Committee on Rules for further work due to concerns around an amendment proposed Multnomah County, attempting to amend the bill to include crisis stabilization and emergency services in the medical assistance offered by OHA.
- SB 423/424 – Established requirements on law enforcement agencies around mental health policies. Both bills received unanimous support on the Senate floor and are awaiting a hearing in House Judiciary.
- SB 808 – Requires certain health care licensees to complete there to six hours of CE related to suicide risk assessment, treatment, and management every six years. The bill passed through the Senate health Care and is currently in the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. We sent a letter to the Senate opposing this bill since we already receive this training in our graduate schools in our places of work.
- HB 2186 - Adds further specification to prohibition on discrimination against health care providers by insurers in participation in or coverage under health benefit plan.
- HB 2192 - Directs school districts and public charter schools to require every student in grades 6 through 12 to undergo mental health wellness check once each school year. Died in House Education without receiving a hearing.
- HB 2954 – Directs Department of Education to administer pilot program that enables school districts to deliver annual mental health screenings to students in grades 6 – 12. Died in House Education without receiving a hearing.
- SB 546 – Creates crime of unlawful administration of electroconvulsive therapy. Died in Senate Human Services without receiving a hearing.
Stay tuned for the next legislative update coming soon.