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Legislative Advocacy

Matt Fullen was a guest expert on All Sides with Ann Fisher (89.7 WOSU) the week of May 10.  You can listen here (he comes in around minute 15): http://radio.wosu.org/post/teen-suicide-media  Matt is the OCA Legisllative Chair and testified in a legislative hearing on Thursday May 11 as well. 

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Greetings!

We want to keep you informed as to some important developments in our efforts to oppose the proposed Board consolidation efforts.  We mounted a successful grassroots campaign in December to block this legislation, and again this past month as it became part of the Governor's budget bill.  Just this week, the House removed that legislation from their substitute bill, so this is GREAT news for us!  Thank you to all who have worked to get the message to your representatives that OCA opposes any attempt to eliminate the CSWMFT Board!

We do need to continue, and will be continuing to oppose any consolidation efforts.  The next step is to keep an eye on what the Senate will do with this proposal. As part of our Legislative Advocacy Day on Wednesday this week, we had opportunity to speak with State Senators about our opposition to this, and we will encourage you all to be aware and to be ready to take action.  If the Senate attempts to put this proposal back into their version of the budget, we will definitely let you know so that you can contact your Senators directly.

Thank you again for your work in supporting OCA and for participating in protecting our profession.

Blessings,

Martha S. Flemming, M.A., LPCC-s, LICDC

President, Ohio Counseling Association


Look up your Legislators HERE

             

Click here for your copy of TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL LEGISLATIVE VISIT.  

The OCA is fortunate to employ the services of lobbyist Amanda Sines and the Government Advantage Group. Periodic legislative reports, detailing current initiatives of the Ohio General Assembly impacting the practice of counseling, are available to all OCA members. This represents a primary benefit of OCA membership. Click on the downloads below to view current legislative information impacting the counseling profession.

Questions can be directed to Matt Fullen, Government Relations Chair, at fullen.33@osu.edu 

Latest Advocacy issue: HB 48 Licesure Board Coalition Feb 2017 

Draft Letter you can modify and send to your legislator: OCA HB617 SB366 Form.docx


Dear Colleagues,

As we renew our stand against the proposed replacement of the CSWMFT Board, many of you have asked for talking points so that when you contact your representatives and senators, you can know how to communicate our concerns.  I'm attaching a letter that has been sent out by the coalition of behavioral health providers who would be impacted by this proposal.  I would encourage you to use the points made in this letter, and to share it with other professional colleagues who may not be part of OCA as well.

Main talking points (supporting document here):

     1)   There are NO cost savings to the State through this legislation.  Our Board is entirely self-sustaining via license fees, so there are no revenues generated for the State or savings to the State with this bill.

    2)    The Boards are already operating efficiently.  On average, each member of the affected Boards are responsible for monitoring 2135 licensees, and there is an average of one Board investigator for every 8081 licensees. The proposed legislation would place only 1 counselor on the Board to be responsible for all counselors in the State, and/or would place monitoring of our profession in the hands of those who are not counselors.

    3)    Placing responsibility for our profession in the hands of those not trained in our field could jeopardize the population that we serve.

    4)    Reducing the number of Board members would slow the licensure process considerably, making it more difficult to become licensed in the State when there is already a deficit of professionals to meet the demand, especially in light of the current opiate crisis.

    5)    Other states that have tried to consolidate their boards have not had good success with such a plan and have gone back to more distinct governing boards.

Thank you for following up on this most urgent matter.  We were able in December to forestall this, and we need now to redouble our efforts to stop this again.  Please spread the word!

Blessings,
Martha S. Flemming, M.A., LPCC-s, LICDC
New Source Counseling Centers www.newsourcecounseling.com

Questions or problems with the OCA website can be sent to Bob Thomas, Executive Director at:

OCAExec@gmail.com / 3227 Mountview Road / Columbus OH 43221 / 614.395.3341

 

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