ACTION REQUESTED  

Submit comments  by April 11, 2018 in support of the recommendation to create the Behavioral Health Executive Council to house all four behavioral health regulatory agencies and to expand the composition of BHEC to include professional representation from each board as voting members. 

Please reference TCA talking points but, as always, speak from your heart. Comments received by April 11 with be shared with the Sunset Commission in advance of the April 25 hearing.

TCA hopes to generate at least 200 comments. Please help. Please share this with your colleagues.
SUNSET REVIEW OF TSBEPC
The Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors, as well as the other behavioral health regulatory boards, is going through a review by Sunset Commission (again).

The Texas Sunset Commission Staff Report was released on March 28, 2018. The Sunset Commission , which is composed of legislators and public members, will hold a public hearing on these boards on April 25-26, 2018 in Austin and will make their final recommendations to the Texas Legislature on May 23-24, 2018.

The report acknowledges that “. . . the boards are acting in good faith and have made notable strides in addressing the previously identified problems. . . However, significant problems and challenges remain that cannot be resolved within the current structure . . . " It goes on to say “. . . the continued administrative attachment of the marriage and family therapy, professional counseling and social work boards to a large agency. . . is still not working. . . The dysfunction created by such a model places the livelihoods of licensees in jeopardy and puts the public at risk .”
 
While TCA supports the recommendation to organize the regulatory boards for LPCs, LMFTs, SWs and psychologists within a new agency, the Behavioral Health Executive Council , we disagree with the staff’s recommendation for the structure of BHEC . Sunset staff recommends BHEC be comprised of one public member from each of the Boards with one professional member from each Board serving only in “ex officio” roles. Including a professional representative from each of the Boards will provide expertise and is more likely to enhance consistency in professional standards rather than interference across professions. BHEC would still be a public majority agency, since the Governor will appoint a non-professional to serve as its presiding officer.
TIPS on working with the TSBEPC
We all know that TSBEPC isn’t operating as well as it should. It’s buried at the Health and Human Services Commission. It does not have a line item in the budget. It’s understaffed. And most importantly, its ineffectiveness makes it a challenge for LPCs and LPC-Interns to secure, renew or upgrade their licenses. 

While it may not be the fault of the Board or staff, those of you who have applications, appeals or requests pending are still stuck. Based on our participation at every Board meeting and conversations with Board and staff, TCA has some recommendations that may help you navigate this system.
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