04./23/21 Legislative Updates

23 Apr 2021 7:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

House Adds Telehealth Reimbursement Policy To Bed Tracking Bill

The House has sent Senate File 524 back to the Senate with a major addition.

That addition would require insurance companies to reimburse mental health services delivered via telehealth at the same rate as they would for in person services.

No word on if or when the Senate may take up SF 524 with the House amendment.

BOEE Recognition Loophole Closed

Thanks to the efforts of the ISSWA, a loophole allowing non-Board of Educational Examiners recognized persons to offer mental health services to students, will soon be closed.

The provisions in Senate File 532, which is now on its way to the desk of Governor Reynolds, will require all mental health professionals providing services at a school to have a Board of Educational Examiners recognition.

Thanks again to all the ISSWA members who helped in this important effort.


Bills of interest :

SF 598 - Education Appropriations (M) - Included in this bill is a $2.1 million appropriation for the continuation of the Student Mental Health School-Based Program. The bill also contains language to all for shared funding of bachelor level social workers. (ISSWA and others are working on removing this troublesome language and replacing it with appropriate provisions.)

On Senate debate calendar

SF 524 (formerly SSB 1227) - Psych Bed Tracking (F) - This bill establishes an inpatient psychiatric bed tracking system study committee.

The department of public health shall submit a report of the study committee detailing the committee’s findings and recommendations, including a proposed date to implement real-time electronic data tracking, to the general assembly and the governor no later than December 15, 2021.

The House also added an amendment  which would require insurance companies to reimburse mental health services delivered via telehealth at the same rate as they would for in person services.

Passed the Senate 48-0. On House debate calendar

SF 354 (formerly SF 163) - CEU Hardship Relief (M) - The bill authorizes a licensing board to extend the deadline to satisfy continuing education requirements by up to 90 days if a board finds that a licensee is experiencing an unforeseen financial or medical hardship and the licensee submits a request to a licensing board to extend the deadline due to the financial or medical hardship accompanied by evidence that the licensee or a member of the licensee’s family is experiencing a financial or medical hardship.

Passed the Senate 48-0. On House debate calendar

SF 258 (formerly SF 117) - Surtax for School Safety Officers (M) - This bill authorizes school districts to raise additional amounts of property tax or income surtax under the instructional support program for certain school resource officer expenses.

Approved by the Ed Committee. Approved by Ways and Means Subcommittee

SSB 1260 - AEA Funding Equity (F) - This bill relates to area education agencies by modifying certain categorical funding supplement calculations and enrollment determinations to better provide funding to rural and urban agencies.

Approved by subcommittee

HF 868 - Education Appropriations (F) - Included in this bill is a $3.1 million appropriation for the continuation of the Student Mental Health School-Based Program.

On House debate calendar

HF 813 (formerly HSB 242) - Charter Schools (A) - The bill establishes a new statewide charter school program.  

Approved by the House 55-40. Approved by the Senate Education Committee. Approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. On Senate debate calendar

HF 802 - Training Rules and Requirements (A) - This bill provides requirements related to racism or sexism training, and to diversity and inclusion efforts, at or by school districts and public postsecondary educational institutions.

Approved by the House 59-38. On Senate debate calendar

HF 485 (formerly HF 107) - In-Person Clinical Supervision (M) - The bill provides that the board of social work and the board of behavioral science shall not require that supervision of an applicant for a license as a social worker, marital or family therapist, or mental health counselor be completed in-person.

Approved by the House 96-0. On Senate debate calendar

HF 285 (formerly HSB 61) - Music Therapist Certification (M) - This bill requires any person claiming to be a music  therapist to hold a music therapist board-certified credential granted by the certification board for music therapists or a professional designation in good standing listed on the national music therapy registry. The bill as proposed would also likely impede the use of therapeutic music by non music therapists.

Approved by the House 89-4.  On Senate debate calendar

Passed by both chambers:

SF 532 (formerly SSB 1231) - BOEE Recognition and Certification (M) - The bill as amended by the Senate would require all mental health professionals providing services at a school to have a Board of Educational Examiners recognition.

Approved by the Senate 47-0. Amended and approved by the House 93-0. Approved by the Senate 46-0.


SF 160 - Get Back Into the Classroom (A) - This bill, a priority of Governor Reynolds, sets forth the criteria for a school district to provide in-person instruction.

Passed the Senate 29-18; Passed the House 59-39. Signed into law by Governor Reynolds 1/29



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