Bill to allow behavioral health credential renewals during states of emergency passes out of committee

The House Health Care and Wellness Committee unanimously passed a bill from Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, that would allow some behavioral health care workers to renew their credentials during a state of emergency.
House Bill 1063, which passed out of committee this week, would authorize the state Secretary of Health to grant a waiver for additional credential renewals due to barriers created by governor-declared emergencies. It would also give people more time to complete their licensure hours during a pandemic or state of emergency.
“A constituent contacted me because she was not able to complete her licensure hours due to COVID-19,” Harris said in a news release. “We need to help people negatively affected by this and other emergencies, instead of hindering them. This piece of legislation would do that.”
The bill would apply to certification for substance use disorder professional trainees and associate licenses for social workers, mental health counselors, and marriage and family therapists.
It contains an emergency clause, allowing it to take effect immediately if passed. It awaits a vote by the full state House of Representatives. The 2021 legislative session began Jan. 11 and is schedule to last 105 consecutive days.
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