Legislation Committee and Advocacy
The LCPCM Legislative Chair and committee members work diligently to oversee Maryland’s legislation and regulations that affect the clinical professional counseling profession and the people we serve. LCPCM works with a professional lobbyist to assure that our members have the best representation possible in the Maryland General Assembly. Since 1998, LCPCM worked for LCPC parity with the other clinical mental health professions in Maryland. Our successes have been many and we take pride in our accomplishments on the behalf of our members and all LCPCs practicing in Maryland. During the Maryland legislative session, information on legislation that is of particular interest to Maryland LCPCs is available under the members only Legislative Alert tab.
Some of the most important LCPCM accomplishments are:
- Passed licensure for LCPCs with rigorous clinical standards for counselors(1998)
- Passed a LCPC privileged communication statute to protect the confidentiality of our clients in court (1999)
- Advocated for LCPCs becoming providers under BCBS Federal Employee Program Plans (2000)
- Passed legislation authorizing LCPCs to sign and implement Emergency Petition Evaluations (2001)
- Passed legislation establishing the LGPC credential for counseling graduates (2002)
- Passed legislation broadened the Maryland Insurance Code to include mandatory reimbursement to clients of LCPCs (2003)
- Passed advanced assessment legislation for LCPCs (2008)
- Advocated for the creation of a State of Maryland job classification for LCPCs with a corresponding career track. (2008)
- Prevented the removal of one of two LCPC seats on the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists that were in jeopardy in order to add Art Therapists seats on the Board.
- Prevented the passage of a bill to charge professional counselors with a felony if found involved in any type of sexual contact with a client. This bill originally applied only to professional counselors and no other mental healthcare providers.
- Amended the licensing bill for art therapists to include the specific clinical education and training standards that are consistent with the other licensed professions regulated by the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists.
- Amended a bill to include LCPCs to treat minors age 16 without parental consent.
- Amended a bill to require the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists to pay for any mental or physical exam that they order rather than requiring the LCPC to pay the professional fees.
- This year, LCPCM provided the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists a detailed proposal for amending the LCPC regulations.
Meet our LCPCM state lobbyist
Robyn S. Elliott, Partner, Public Policy Partners
Robyn began LCPCM representation 2015 legislative session. She has over 15 years of experience in legislation, the state budget process, and health care finance. She is an expert in navigating the legislative and state budget process on complex policy and financial issues. She has particular expertise in health care reimbursement, health insurance, health occupations, and disabilities issues. Prior to Public Policy Partners, she was the Director of Governmental Affairs at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She also was a senior policy analyst with the Maryland General Assembly under the Department of Legislative Services. Her health care finance experience includes being a senior financial analyst at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She has a Master’s in Health Care Administration from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
About the Maryland General Assembly
The Maryland General Assembly is the legislature for the state of Maryland. It is in session for four months of the year from January through April. During that time over 2500 bills are introduced. Hearings are held and votes are taken. There are two chambers in the General Assembly. One is the House of Delegates and the other is the Senate. Each chamber has standing committees based upon general subject matter. The state has 47 districts represented by 47 Senators and 141 Delegates.