Florida Senate - 2022                                     SB 358
       By Senator Rodriguez
       39-00389A-22                                           2022358__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Professional Counselors
    3         Licensure Compact; creating s. 491.017, F.S.; creating
    4         the Professional Counselors Licensure Compact;
    5         providing purposes and objectives; defining terms;
    6         specifying requirements for state participation in the
    7         compact; specifying duties of member states;
    8         authorizing member states to charge a fee for granting
    9         a privilege to practice under the compact; specifying
   10         that that compact does not affect an individual’s
   11         ability to apply for, and a member state’s ability to
   12         grant, a single state license pursuant to the laws of
   13         that state; providing construction; providing for
   14         recognition of the privilege to practice licensed
   15         professional counseling in member states; specifying
   16         criteria a licensed professional counselor must meet
   17         for the privilege to practice under the compact;
   18         providing for the expiration and renewal of the
   19         privilege to practice; providing construction;
   20         specifying that a licensee with a privilege to
   21         practice in a remote state must adhere to the laws and
   22         rules of that state; authorizing member states to act
   23         on a licensee’s privilege to practice under certain
   24         circumstances; specifying the consequences and
   25         parameters of practice for a licensee whose privilege
   26         to practice has been acted on or whose home state
   27         license is encumbered; specifying that a licensed
   28         professional counselor may hold a home state license
   29         in only one member state at a time; specifying
   30         requirements and procedures for changing a home state
   31         license designation; providing construction;
   32         authorizing active duty military personnel or their
   33         spouses to keep their home state designation during
   34         active duty; specifying how such individuals may
   35         subsequently change their home state license
   36         designation; providing for the recognition of the
   37         practice of professional counseling through telehealth
   38         in member states; specifying that licensees must
   39         adhere to the laws and rules of the remote state in
   40         which they provide professional counseling through
   41         telehealth; authorizing member states to take adverse
   42         actions against licensees and issue subpoenas for
   43         hearings and investigations under certain
   44         circumstances; providing requirements and procedures
   45         for adverse action; authorizing member states to
   46         engage in joint investigations under certain
   47         circumstances; providing that a licensee’s privilege
   48         to practice must be deactivated in all member states
   49         for the duration of an encumbrance imposed by the
   50         licensee’s home state; providing for notice to the
   51         data system and the licensee’s home state of any
   52         adverse action taken against a licensee; providing
   53         construction; establishing the Counseling Compact
   54         Commission; providing for the jurisdiction and venue
   55         for court proceedings; providing construction;
   56         providing for membership, meetings, and powers of the
   57         commission; specifying powers and duties of the
   58         commission’s executive committee; providing for the
   59         financing of the commission; providing commission
   60         members, officers, executive directors, employees, and
   61         representatives immunity from civil liability under
   62         certain circumstances; providing exceptions; requiring
   63         the commission to defend the commission’s members,
   64         officers, executive directors, employees, and
   65         representative in civil actions under certain
   66         circumstances; providing construction; requiring the
   67         commission to indemnify and hold harmless such
   68         individuals for any settlement or judgment obtained in
   69         such actions under certain circumstances; providing
   70         for the development of the data system, reporting
   71         procedures, and the exchange of specified information
   72         between member states; requiring the commission to
   73         notify member states of any adverse action taken
   74         against a licensee or applicant for licensure;
   75         authorizing member states to designate as confidential
   76         information provided to the data system; requiring the
   77         commission to remove information from the data system
   78         under certain circumstances; providing rulemaking
   79         procedures for the commission; providing for member
   80         state enforcement of the compact; specifying that the
   81         compact and commission rules have standing as
   82         statutory law in member states; specifying that the
   83         commission is entitled to receive notice of process,
   84         and has standing to intervene, in certain judicial and
   85         administrative proceedings; rendering certain
   86         judgments and orders void as to the commission, the
   87         compact, or commission rules under certain
   88         circumstances; providing for defaults and termination
   89         of compact membership; providing procedures for the
   90         resolution of certain disputes; providing for
   91         commission enforcement of the compact; providing for
   92         remedies; providing construction; providing for
   93         implementation of, withdrawal from, and amendment to
   94         the compact; providing construction; specifying that
   95         licensees practicing in a remote state under the
   96         compact must adhere to the laws and rules of the
   97         remote state; providing construction; specifying that
   98         the compact, commission rules, and commission actions
   99         are binding on member states; providing construction
  100         and severability; amending s. 456.073, F.S.; requiring
  101         the Department of Health to report certain
  102         investigative information to the data system; amending
  103         s. 456.076, F.S.; requiring monitoring contracts for
  104         impaired practitioners participating in treatment
  105         programs to contain certain terms; amending s.
  106         491.004, F.S.; requiring the Board of Clinical Social
  107         Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health
  108         Counseling to appoint an individual to serve as the
  109         state’s delegate on the commission; amending ss.
  110         491.005 and 491.006, F.S.; exempting certain persons
  111         from licensure requirements; amending s. 491.009,
  112         F.S.; authorizing certain disciplinary action under
  113         the compact for specified prohibited acts; amending s.
  114         768.28, F.S.; designating the state delegate and other
  115         members or employees of the commission as state agents
  116         for the purpose of applying waivers of sovereign
  117         immunity; requiring the commission to pay certain
  118         claims or judgments; authorizing the commission to
  119         maintain insurance coverage to pay such claims or
  120         judgments; providing an effective date.
  122  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  124         Section 1. Section 491.017, Florida Statutes, is created to
  125  read:
  126         491.017 Professional Counselors Licensure Compact.—The
  127  Professional Counselors Licensure Compact is hereby enacted and
  128  entered into by this state with all other jurisdictions legally
  129  joining therein in the form substantially as follows:
  131                              ARTICLE I                            
  132                               PURPOSE                             
  133         The compact is designed to achieve the following purposes
  134  and objectives:
  135         (1)Facilitate interstate practice of licensed professional
  136  counseling to increase public access to professional counseling
  137  services by providing for the mutual recognition of other member
  138  state licenses.
  139         (2)Enhance the member states’ ability to protect the
  140  public’s health and safety.
  141         (3)Encourage the cooperation of member states in
  142  regulating multistate practice of licensed professional
  143  counselors.
  144         (4)Support spouses of relocating active duty military
  145  personnel.
  146         (5)Facilitate the exchange of information between member
  147  states regarding licensure, investigations, adverse actions, and
  148  disciplinary history of licensed professional counselors.
  149         (6)Allow for the use of telehealth technology to
  150  facilitate increased access to professional counseling services.
  151         (7)Support the uniformity of professional counseling
  152  licensure requirements throughout member states to promote
  153  public safety and public health benefits.
  154         (8)Provide member states with the authority to hold a
  155  licensed professional counselor accountable for meeting all
  156  state practice laws in the state in which the client is located
  157  at the time care is rendered through the mutual recognition of
  158  member state licenses.
  159         (9)Eliminate the necessity for licensed professional
  160  counselors to hold licenses in multiple states and provide
  161  opportunities for interstate practice by licensed professional
  162  counselors who meet uniform licensure requirements.
  164                             ARTICLE II                            
  165                             DEFINITIONS                           
  166         As used in this compact, the term:
  167         (1)“Active duty military” means full-time duty status in
  168  the active uniformed service of the United States, including,
  169  but not limited to, members of the National Guard and Reserve on
  170  active duty orders pursuant to 10 U.S.C. chapters 1209 and 1211.
  171         (2)“Adverse action” means any administrative, civil, or
  172  criminal action authorized by a state’s laws which is imposed by
  173  a licensing board or other authority against a licensed
  174  professional counselor, including actions against an
  175  individual’s license or privilege to practice, such as
  176  revocation, suspension, probation, monitoring of the licensee,
  177  limitation on the licensee’s practice, issuance of a cease and
  178  desist action, or any other encumbrance on licensure affecting a
  179  licensed professional counselor’s authorization to practice.
  180         (3)“Alternative program” means a nondisciplinary
  181  monitoring or practice remediation process approved by a
  182  professional counseling licensing board to address impaired
  183  practitioners.
  184         (4)“Continuing education” means a requirement, as a
  185  condition of license renewal, to participate in or complete
  186  educational and professional activities relevant to the
  187  licensee’s practice or area of work.
  188         (5)“Counseling Compact Commission” or “commission” means
  189  the national administrative body whose membership consists of
  190  all states that have enacted the compact.
  191         (6)“Current significant investigative information” means:
  192         (a)Investigative information that a licensing board, after
  193  a preliminary inquiry that includes notification and an
  194  opportunity for the licensed professional counselor to respond,
  195  if required by state law, has reason to believe is not
  196  groundless and, if proved true, would indicate more than a minor
  197  infraction; or
  198         (b)Investigative information that indicates that the
  199  licensed professional counselor represents an immediate threat
  200  to public health and safety, regardless of whether the licensed
  201  professional counselor has been notified and had an opportunity
  202  to respond.
  203         (7)Data system” means a repository of information about
  204  licensees, including, but not limited to, information relating
  205  to continuing education, examinations, licensure statuses,
  206  investigations, the privilege to practice, and adverse actions.
  207         (8)“Encumbered license” means a license in which an
  208  adverse action restricts the practice of licensed professional
  209  counseling by the licensee and said adverse action has been
  210  reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank.
  211         (9)“Encumbrance” means a revocation or suspension of, or
  212  any limitation on, the full and unrestricted practice of
  213  licensed professional counseling by a licensing board.
  214         (10)“Executive committee” means a group of directors
  215  elected or appointed to act on behalf of, and within the powers
  216  granted to them by, the commission.
  217         (11)“Home state” means the member state that is the
  218  licensee’s primary state of residence.
  219         (12)“Impaired practitioner” means an individual who has a
  220  condition that may impair his or her ability to safely practice
  221  as a licensed professional counselor without intervention. Such
  222  impairment may include, but is not limited to, alcohol or drug
  223  dependence, mental health conditions, and neurological or
  224  physical conditions.
  225         (13)“Investigative information” means information,
  226  records, or documents received or generated by a professional
  227  counseling licensing board pursuant to an investigation.
  228         (14)“Jurisprudence requirement,” if required by a member
  229  state, means the assessment of an individual’s knowledge of the
  230  laws and rules governing the practice of professional counseling
  231  in a state.
  232         (15)“Licensed professional counselor” means a mental
  233  health counselor licensed under chapter 491 or a counselor
  234  licensed by a member state, regardless of the title used by that
  235  state, to independently assess, diagnose, and treat behavioral
  236  health conditions.
  237         (16)“Licensee” means an individual who currently holds an
  238  authorization from the state to practice as a licensed
  239  professional counselor.
  240         (17)“Licensing board” means the agency of a state, or
  241  equivalent, that is responsible for the licensing and regulation
  242  of licensed professional counselors.
  243         (18)“Member state” means a state that has enacted the
  244  compact.
  245         (19)Privilege to practice” means a legal authorization,
  246  which is equivalent to a license, authorizing the practice of
  247  professional counseling in a remote state.
  248         (20)“Professional counseling” means the assessment,
  249  diagnosis, and treatment of behavioral health conditions by a
  250  licensed professional counselor.
  251         (21)“Remote state” means a member state, other than the
  252  home state, where a licensee is exercising or seeking to
  253  exercise the privilege to practice.
  254         (22)“Rule” means a regulation adopted by the commission
  255  which has the force of law.
  256         (23)“Single state license” means a licensed professional
  257  counselor license issued by a member state which authorizes
  258  practice only within the issuing state and does not include a
  259  privilege to practice in any other member state.
  260         (24)“State” means any state, commonwealth, district, or
  261  territory of the United States of America which regulates the
  262  practice of professional counseling.
  263         (25)“Telehealth” means the application of
  264  telecommunication technology to deliver professional counseling
  265  services remotely to assess, diagnose, and treat behavioral
  266  health conditions.
  267         (26)“Unencumbered license” means a license that authorizes
  268  a licensed professional counselor to engage in the full and
  269  unrestricted practice of professional counseling.
  271                             ARTICLE III                           
  272                         STATE PARTICIPATION                       
  273         (1)To participate in the compact, a state must currently
  274  do all of the following:
  275         (a)License and regulate licensed professional counselors.
  276         (b)Require licensees to pass a nationally recognized exam
  277  approved by the commission.
  278         (c)Require licensees to have a 60 semester hour, or 90
  279  quarter hour, master’s degree in counseling or 60 semester
  280  hours, or 90 quarter hours, of graduate coursework including all
  281  of the following topic areas:
  282         1.Professional counseling orientation and ethical
  283  practice.
  284         2.Social and cultural diversity.
  285         3.Human growth and development.
  286         4.Career development.
  287         5.Counseling and helping relationships.
  288         6.Group counseling and group work.
  289         7.Diagnosis, assessment, testing, and treatment.
  290         8.Research and program evaluation.
  291         9.Other areas as determined by the commission.
  292         (d)Require licensees to complete a supervised postgraduate
  293  professional experience as defined by the commission.
  294         (e)Have a mechanism in place for receiving and
  295  investigating complaints about licensees.
  296         (2)A member state shall do all of the following:
  297         (a)Participate fully in the commission’s data system,
  298  including using the commission’s unique identifier as defined in
  299  rules adopted by the commission.
  300         (b)Notify the commission, in compliance with the terms of
  301  the compact and rules adopted by the commission, of any adverse
  302  action or the availability of investigative information
  303  regarding a licensee.
  304         (c)Implement or utilize procedures for considering the
  305  criminal history records of applicants for an initial privilege
  306  to practice. These procedures must include the submission of
  307  fingerprints or other biometric-based information by applicants
  308  for the purpose of obtaining an applicant’s criminal history
  309  record information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and
  310  the agency responsible for retaining that state’s criminal
  311  records.
  312         1.A member state must fully implement a criminal
  313  background check requirement, within a timeframe established by
  314  rule, by receiving the results of the Federal Bureau of
  315  Investigation record search and shall use the results in making
  316  licensure decisions.
  317         2.Communication between a member state and the commission
  318  and among member states regarding the verification of
  319  eligibility for licensure through the compact may not include
  320  any information received from the Federal Bureau of
  321  Investigation relating to a federal criminal records check
  322  performed by a member state under Public Law 92-544.
  323         (d)Comply with the rules adopted by the commission.
  324         (e)Require an applicant to obtain or retain a license in
  325  the home state and meet the home state’s qualifications for
  326  licensure or renewal of licensure, as well as all other
  327  applicable state laws.
  328         (f)Grant the privilege to practice to a licensee holding a
  329  valid unencumbered license in another member state in accordance
  330  with the terms of the compact and rules adopted by the
  331  commission.
  332         (g)Provide for the attendance of the state’s commissioner
  333  at the commission meetings.
  334         (3)Member states may charge a fee for granting the
  335  privilege to practice.
  336         (4)Individuals not residing in a member state may continue
  337  to apply for a member state’s single state license as provided
  338  under the laws of each member state. However, the single state
  339  license granted to these individuals may not be recognized as
  340  granting a privilege to practice professional counseling under
  341  the compact in any other member state.
  342         (5)Nothing in this compact affects the requirements
  343  established by a member state for the issuance of a single state
  344  license.
  345         (6)A professional counselor license issued by a home state
  346  to a resident of that state must be recognized by each member
  347  state as authorizing that licensed professional counselor to
  348  practice professional counseling, under a privilege to practice,
  349  in each member state.
  351                             ARTICLE IV                            
  352                        PRIVILEGE TO PRACTICE                      
  353         (1)To exercise the privilege to practice under the terms
  354  and provisions of the compact, the licensee must meet all of the
  355  following criteria:
  356         (a)Hold a license in the home state.
  357         (b)Have a valid United States Social Security Number or
  358  national provider identifier.
  359         (c)Be eligible for a privilege to practice in any member
  360  state in accordance with subsections (4), (7), and (8).
  361         (d)Have not had any encumbrance or restriction against any
  362  license or privilege to practice within the preceding 2 years.
  363         (e)Notify the commission that the licensee is seeking the
  364  privilege to practice within a remote state.
  365         (f)Pay any applicable fees, including any state fee, for
  366  the privilege to practice.
  367         (g)Meet any continuing education requirements established
  368  by the home state.
  369         (h)Meet any jurisprudence requirements established by the
  370  remote state in which the licensee is seeking a privilege to
  371  practice.
  372         (i)Report to the commission any adverse action,
  373  encumbrance, or restriction on a license taken by any nonmember
  374  state within 30 days after the action is taken.
  375         (2)The privilege to practice is valid until the expiration
  376  date of the home state license. The licensee must continue to
  377  meet the criteria specified in subsection (1) to renew the
  378  privilege to practice in the remote state.
  379         (3)For purposes of the compact, the practice of
  380  professional counseling occurs in the state where the client is
  381  located at the time of the counseling services. The compact does
  382  not affect the regulatory authority of states to protect public
  383  health and safety through their own system of state licensure.
  384         (4)A licensee providing professional counseling in a
  385  remote state under the privilege to practice must adhere to the
  386  laws and regulations of the remote state.
  387         (5)A licensee providing professional counseling services
  388  in a remote state is subject to that state’s regulatory
  389  authority. A remote state may, in accordance with due process
  390  and that state’s laws, remove a licensee’s privilege to practice
  391  in the remote state for a specified period of time, impose
  392  fines, or take any other action necessary to protect the health
  393  and safety of its residents. The licensee may be ineligible for
  394  a privilege to practice in any member state until the specific
  395  time for removal has passed and all fines are paid.
  396         (6)If a home state license is encumbered, a licensee loses
  397  the privilege to practice in any remote state until both of the
  398  following conditions are met:
  399         (a)The home state license is no longer encumbered.
  400         (b)The licensee has not had any encumbrance or restriction
  401  against any license or privilege to practice within the
  402  preceding 2 years.
  403         (7)Once an encumbered license in the licensee’s home state
  404  is restored to good standing, the licensee may obtain a
  405  privilege to practice in any remote state if he or she meets the
  406  requirements of subsection (1).
  407         (8)If a licensee’s privilege to practice in any remote
  408  state is removed, the individual may lose the privilege to
  409  practice in all other remote states until all of the following
  410  conditions are met:
  411         (a)The specified period of time for which the privilege to
  412  practice was removed has ended.
  413         (b)The licensee has paid all fines imposed.
  414         (c)The licensee has not had any encumbrance or restriction
  415  against any license or privilege to practice within the
  416  preceding 2 years.
  417         (9)Once the requirements of subsection (8) have been met,
  418  the licensee may obtain a privilege to practice in a remote
  419  state if he or she meets the requirements in subsection (1).
  421                              ARTICLE V                            
  423                              PRACTICE                             
  424         (1)A licensed professional counselor may hold a home state
  425  license, which allows for a privilege to practice in other
  426  member states, in only one member state at a time.
  427         (2)If a licensed professional counselor changes his or her
  428  primary state of residence by moving between two member states,
  429  then the licensed professional counselor must file an
  430  application for obtaining a new home state license based on a
  431  privilege to practice, pay all applicable fees, and notify the
  432  current and new home state in accordance with applicable rules
  433  adopted by the commission.
  434         (3)Upon receipt of an application for obtaining a new home
  435  state license based on a privilege to practice, the new home
  436  state must verify that the licensed professional counselor meets
  437  the criteria outlined in article IV through the data system. The
  438  new home state does not need to seek primary source verification
  439  for information obtained from the data system, except for the
  440  following:
  441         (a)A Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint-based
  442  criminal background check, if not previously performed or
  443  updated pursuant to applicable rules adopted by the commission
  444  in accordance with Public Law 92-544;
  445         (b)Any other criminal background check as required by the
  446  new home state; and
  447         (c)Proof of completion of any requisite jurisprudence
  448  requirements of the new home state.
  449         (4)The former home state shall convert the former home
  450  state license into a privilege to practice once the new home
  451  state has activated the new home state license in accordance
  452  with applicable rules adopted by the commission.
  453         (5)Notwithstanding any other provision of the compact, if
  454  the licensed professional counselor does not meet the criteria
  455  in article IV, the new home state may apply its own requirements
  456  for issuing a new single state license.
  457         (6)The licensed professional counselor must pay all
  458  applicable fees to the new home state in order to be issued a
  459  new home state license for purposes of the compact.
  460         (7)If a licensed professional counselor changes his or her
  461  primary state of residence by moving from a member state to a
  462  nonmember state or from a nonmember state to a member state, the
  463  new state’s own criteria apply for issuance of a single state
  464  license in the new state.
  465         (8)The compact does not interfere with a licensee’s
  466  ability to hold a single state license in multiple states.
  467  However, for the purposes of the compact, a licensee may have
  468  only one home state license.
  469         (9)The compact does not affect the requirements
  470  established by a member state for the issuance of a single state
  471  license.
  473                             ARTICLE VI                            
  475         Active duty military personnel, or their spouse, shall
  476  designate a home state where the individual has a current
  477  license in good standing. The individual may retain the home
  478  state license designation during the period the service member
  479  is on active duty. Subsequent to designating a home state, the
  480  individual may change his or her home state only through
  481  application for licensure in the new state or through the
  482  process outlined in article V.
  484                             ARTICLE VII                           
  485              COMPACT PRIVILEGE TO PRACTICE TELEHEALTH             
  486         (1)Member states shall recognize the right of a licensed
  487  professional counselor, licensed by a home state in accordance
  488  with article III and under rules adopted by the commission, to
  489  practice professional counseling in any member state through
  490  telehealth under a privilege to practice as provided in the
  491  compact and rules adopted by the commission.
  492         (2)A licensee providing professional counseling services
  493  in a remote state through telehealth under the privilege to
  494  practice must adhere to the laws and rules of the remote state.
  496                            ARTICLE VIII                           
  497                           ADVERSE ACTIONS                         
  498         (1)In addition to the other powers conferred by state law,
  499  a remote state has the authority, in accordance with existing
  500  state due process law, to do any of the following:
  501         (a)Take adverse action against a licensed professional
  502  counselor’s privilege to practice within that member state.
  503         (b)Issue subpoenas for both hearings and investigations
  504  that require the attendance and testimony of witnesses or the
  505  production of evidence. Subpoenas issued by a licensing board in
  506  a member state for the attendance and testimony of witnesses or
  507  the production of evidence from another member state must be
  508  enforced in the latter state by any court of competent
  509  jurisdiction, according to the practice and procedure of that
  510  court applicable to subpoenas issued in proceedings pending
  511  before it. The issuing authority shall pay any witness fees,
  512  travel expenses, mileage, and other fees required by the service
  513  statutes of the state in which the witnesses or evidence is
  514  located.
  515         (2)Only the home state has the power to take adverse
  516  action against a licensed professional counselor’s license
  517  issued by the home state.
  518         (3)For purposes of taking adverse action, the home state
  519  shall give the same priority and effect to reported conduct
  520  received from a member state as it would if the conduct had
  521  occurred within the home state. The home state shall apply its
  522  own state laws to determine appropriate action in such cases.
  523         (4)The home state shall complete any pending
  524  investigations of a licensed professional counselor who changes
  525  primary state of residence during the course of the
  526  investigations. The home state may also take appropriate action
  527  and shall promptly report the conclusions of the investigations
  528  to the administrator of the data system. The administrator of
  529  the data system shall promptly notify the new home state of any
  530  adverse actions.
  531         (5)A member state, if authorized by state law, may recover
  532  from the affected licensed professional counselor the costs of
  533  investigations and dispositions of any cases resulting from
  534  adverse action taken against that licensed professional
  535  counselor.
  536         (6)A member state may take adverse action against a
  537  licensed professional counselor based on the factual findings of
  538  a remote state, provided that the member state follows its own
  539  statutory procedures for taking adverse action.
  540         (7)(a)In addition to the authority granted to a member
  541  state by its respective professional counseling practice act or
  542  other applicable state law, any member state may participate
  543  with other member states in joint investigations of licensees.
  544         (b)Member states shall share any investigative,
  545  litigation, or compliance materials in furtherance of any joint
  546  or individual investigation initiated under the compact.
  547         (8)If adverse action is taken by the home state against
  548  the license of a professional counselor, the licensed
  549  professional counselor’s privilege to practice in all other
  550  member states must be deactivated until all encumbrances have
  551  been removed from the home state license. All home state
  552  disciplinary orders that impose adverse action against the
  553  license of a professional counselor must include a statement
  554  that the licensed professional counselor’s privilege to practice
  555  is deactivated in all member states while the order is in
  556  effect.
  557         (9)If a member state takes adverse action, it must
  558  promptly notify the administrator of the data system. The
  559  administrator shall promptly notify the licensee’s home state of
  560  any adverse actions by remote states.
  561         (10)Nothing in the compact overrides a member state’s
  562  decision to allow a licensed professional counselor to
  563  participate in an alternative program in lieu of adverse action.
  565                             ARTICLE IX                            
  567         (1)COMMISSION CREATED.—The compact member states hereby
  568  create and establish a joint public agency known as the
  569  Counseling Compact Commission.
  570         (a)The commission is an instrumentality of the compact
  571  states.
  572         (b)Venue is proper, and judicial proceedings by or against
  573  the commission shall be brought solely and exclusively in a
  574  court of competent jurisdiction where the principal office of
  575  the commission is located. The commission may waive venue and
  576  jurisdictional defenses to the extent that it adopts or consents
  577  to participate in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
  578         (c)Nothing in the compact may be construed to be a waiver
  579  of sovereign immunity.
  580         (2)MEMBERSHIP.—
  581         (a)The commission shall consist of one voting delegate,
  582  appointed by each member state’s licensing board. The
  583  commission, by rule, shall establish a term of office for
  584  delegates and may establish term limits.
  585         (b)The delegate must be either:
  586         1.A current member of the licensing board at the time of
  587  appointment, who is a licensed professional counselor or public
  588  member; or
  589         2.An administrator of the licensing board.
  590         (c)A delegate may be removed or suspended from office as
  591  provided by the law of the state from which the delegate is
  592  appointed.
  593         (d)The member state licensing board must fill any vacancy
  594  occurring on the commission within 60 days.
  595         (e)Each delegate is entitled to one vote with regard to
  596  the adoption of rules and creation of bylaws and shall otherwise
  597  participate in the business and affairs of the commission.
  598         (f)A delegate shall vote in person or by such other means
  599  as provided in the bylaws. The bylaws may provide for delegates’
  600  participation in meetings by telephone or other means of
  601  communication.
  603         (a)The commission shall meet at least once during each
  604  calendar year. Additional meetings must be held as set forth in
  605  the bylaws.
  606         (b)All meetings must be open to the public, and public
  607  notice of meetings must be given in the same manner as required
  608  under the rulemaking provisions in article XI.
  609         (c)The commission or the executive committee or other
  610  committees of the commission may convene in a closed, nonpublic
  611  meeting if the commission or executive committee or other
  612  committees of the commission must discuss any of the following:
  613         1.Noncompliance of a member state with its obligations
  614  under the compact.
  615         2.The employment, compensation, discipline, or other
  616  matters, practices, or procedures related to specific employees,
  617  or other matters related to the commission’s internal personnel
  618  practices and procedures.
  619         3.Current, threatened, or reasonably anticipated
  620  litigation.
  621         4.Negotiation of contracts for the purchase, lease, or
  622  sale of goods, services, or real estate.
  623         5.Accusing any person of a crime or formally censuring any
  624  person.
  625         6.Disclosure of trade secrets or commercial or financial
  626  information that is privileged or confidential.
  627         7.Disclosure of information of a personal nature if
  628  disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of
  629  personal privacy.
  630         8.Disclosure of investigative records compiled for law
  631  enforcement purposes.
  632         9.Disclosure of information related to any investigative
  633  reports prepared by or on behalf of or for use of the commission
  634  or other committee charged with responsibility of investigation
  635  or determination of compliance issues pursuant to the compact.
  636         10.Matters specifically exempted from disclosure by
  637  federal or member state law.
  638         (d)If a meeting, or portion of a meeting, is closed under
  639  this subsection, the commission’s legal counsel or designee must
  640  certify that the meeting may be closed and must reference each
  641  relevant exempting provision.
  642         (e)The commission shall keep minutes that fully and
  643  clearly describe all matters discussed in a meeting and shall
  644  provide a full and accurate summary of actions taken, and the
  645  reasons therefore, including a description of the views
  646  expressed. All documents considered in connection with an action
  647  must be identified in such minutes. All minutes and documents of
  648  a closed meeting must remain under seal, subject to release by a
  649  majority vote of the commission or order of a court of competent
  650  jurisdiction.
  651         (4)POWERS.—The commission may do any of the following:
  652         (a)Establish the fiscal year of the commission.
  653         (b)Establish bylaws.
  654         (c)Maintain its financial records in accordance with the
  655  bylaws.
  656         (d)Meet and take actions that are consistent with the
  657  compact and bylaws.
  658         (e)Adopt rules that are binding to the extent and in the
  659  manner provided for in the compact.
  660         (f)Initiate and prosecute legal proceedings or actions in
  661  the name of the commission, provided that the standing of any
  662  state licensing board to sue or be sued under applicable law is
  663  not affected.
  664         (g)Purchase and maintain insurance and bonds.
  665         (h)Borrow, accept, or contract for services of personnel,
  666  including, but not limited to, employees of a member state.
  667         (i)Hire employees and elect or appoint officers; fix
  668  compensation for, define duties of, and grant appropriate
  669  authority to such employees and officers to carry out the
  670  purposes of the compact; and establish the commission’s
  671  personnel policies and programs relating to conflicts of
  672  interest, qualifications of personnel, and other related
  673  personnel matters.
  674         (j)Accept any and all appropriate donations and grants of
  675  money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services, and
  676  receive, utilize, and dispose of the same, provided that at all
  677  times the commission avoids any appearance of impropriety or
  678  conflict of interest.
  679         (k)Lease, purchase, accept appropriate gifts or donations
  680  of, or otherwise own, hold, improve, or use, any property, real,
  681  personal, or mixed, provided that at all times the commission
  682  avoids any appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest.
  683         (l)Sell, convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange,
  684  abandon, or otherwise dispose of any property, real, personal,
  685  or mixed.
  686         (m)Establish a budget and make expenditures.
  687         (n)Borrow money.
  688         (o)Appoint committees, including standing committees
  689  consisting of commission members, state regulators, state
  690  legislators or their representatives, and consumer
  691  representatives, and such other interested persons as may be
  692  designated in the compact and bylaws.
  693         (p)Provide information to, receive information from, and
  694  cooperate with law enforcement agencies.
  695         (q)Establish and elect an executive committee.
  696         (r)Perform any other function that may be necessary or
  697  appropriate to achieve the purposes of the compact and is
  698  consistent with the state regulation of professional counseling
  699  licensure and practice.
  700         (5)THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.—
  701         (a)The executive committee may act on behalf of the
  702  commission according to the terms of the compact and shall
  703  consist of up to 11 members, as follows:
  704         1.Seven voting members who are elected by the commission
  705  from the current membership of the commission.
  706         2.Up to four ex officio, nonvoting members from four
  707  recognized national professional counselor organizations. The ex
  708  officio members shall be selected by their respective
  709  organizations.
  710         (b)The commission may remove any member of the executive
  711  committee as provided in its bylaws.
  712         (c)The executive committee shall meet at least annually.
  713         (d)The executive committee shall do all of the following:
  714         1.Make recommendations to the commission for any changes
  715  to the rules, bylaws, or compact legislation; fees paid by
  716  compact member states; and any fees charged to licensees for the
  717  privilege to practice.
  718         2.Ensure compact administration services are appropriately
  719  provided, contractually or otherwise.
  720         3.Prepare and recommend the budget.
  721         4.Maintain financial records on behalf of the commission.
  722         5.Monitor compact compliance of member states and provide
  723  compliance reports to the commission.
  724         6.Establish additional committees as necessary.
  725         7.Perform any other duties provided for in the rules or
  726  bylaws.
  728         (a)The commission shall pay, or provide for the payment
  729  of, the reasonable expenses of its establishment, organization,
  730  and ongoing activities.
  731         (b)The commission may accept any appropriate revenue
  732  sources, donations, or grants of money, equipment, supplies,
  733  materials, or services.
  734         (c)The commission may levy and collect an annual
  735  assessment from each member state or impose fees on other
  736  parties to cover the cost of the operations and activities of
  737  the commission and its staff. Such assessments and fees must be
  738  in a total amount sufficient to cover its annual budget as
  739  approved each year for which revenue is not provided by other
  740  sources. The aggregate annual assessment amount must be
  741  allocated based on a formula to be determined by the commission,
  742  which shall adopt a rule binding on all member states.
  743         (d)The commission may not incur obligations of any kind
  744  before securing the funds adequate to meet the same; nor may the
  745  commission pledge the credit of any of the member states, except
  746  by and with the authority of the member state.
  747         (e)The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all
  748  receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of
  749  the commission are subject to the audit and accounting
  750  procedures established under its bylaws. However, all receipts
  751  and disbursements of funds handled by the commission must be
  752  audited annually by a certified or licensed public accountant,
  753  and the report of the audit must be included in and become part
  754  of the annual report of the commission.
  756         (a)The members, officers, executive director, employees,
  757  and representatives of the commission are immune from suit and
  758  liability, either personally or in their official capacity, for
  759  any claim for damage to or loss of property or personal injury
  760  or other civil liability caused by or arising out of any actual
  761  or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred, or that the
  762  person against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for
  763  believing occurred, within the scope of commission employment,
  764  duties, or responsibilities. This paragraph may not be construed
  765  to protect any such person from suit or liability for any
  766  damage, loss, injury, or liability caused by the intentional or
  767  willful or wanton misconduct of that person.
  768         (b)The commission shall defend any member, officer,
  769  executive director, employee, or representative of the
  770  commission in any civil action seeking to impose liability
  771  arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission
  772  that occurred, or that the person against whom the claim is made
  773  had a reasonable basis for believing occurred, within the scope
  774  of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided
  775  that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not
  776  result from that person’s intentional or willful or wanton
  777  misconduct. This paragraph may not be construed to prohibit that
  778  person from retaining his or her own counsel.
  779         (c)The commission shall indemnify and hold harmless any
  780  member, officer, executive director, employee, or representative
  781  of the commission for the amount of any settlement or judgment
  782  obtained against that person arising out of any actual or
  783  alleged act, error, or omission that occurred, or that such
  784  person had a reasonable basis for believing occurred, within the
  785  scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities,
  786  provided that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did
  787  not result from the intentional or willful or wanton misconduct
  788  of that person.
  790                              ARTICLE X                            
  791                             DATA SYSTEM                           
  792         (1)The commission shall provide for the development,
  793  operation, and maintenance of a coordinated database and
  794  reporting system containing licensure, adverse action, and
  795  investigative information on all licensed professional
  796  counselors in member states.
  797         (2)Notwithstanding any other provision of state law to the
  798  contrary, a member state shall submit a uniform data set to the
  799  data system on all licensees to whom the compact is applicable,
  800  as required by the rules of the commission, including all of the
  801  following:
  802         (a)Identifying information.
  803         (b)Licensure data.
  804         (c)Adverse actions against a license or privilege to
  805  practice.
  806         (d)Nonconfidential information related to alternative
  807  program participation.
  808         (e)Any denial of application for licensure and the reason
  809  for such denial.
  810         (f)Current significant investigative information.
  811         (g)Other information that may facilitate the
  812  administration of the compact, as determined by the rules of the
  813  commission.
  814         (3)Investigative information pertaining to a licensee in
  815  any member state may be made available only to other member
  816  states.
  817         (4)The commission shall promptly notify all member states
  818  of any adverse action taken against a licensee or an individual
  819  applying for a license. Adverse action information pertaining to
  820  a licensee in any member state must be made available to any
  821  other member state.
  822         (5)Member states reporting information to the data system
  823  may designate information that may not be shared with the public
  824  without the express permission of the reporting state.
  825         (6)Any information submitted to the data system which is
  826  subsequently required to be expunged by the laws of the member
  827  state reporting the information must be removed from the data
  828  system.
  830                             ARTICLE XI                            
  831                             RULEMAKING                            
  832         (1)The commission shall adopt reasonable rules to
  833  effectively and efficiently achieve the purposes of the compact.
  834  If, however, the commission exercises its rulemaking authority
  835  in a manner that is beyond the scope of the purposes of the
  836  compact, or the powers granted hereunder, then such an action by
  837  the commission is invalid and has no force or effect.
  838         (2)The commission shall exercise its rulemaking powers
  839  pursuant to the criteria set forth in this article and the rules
  840  adopted thereunder. Rules and amendments become binding as of
  841  the date specified in each rule or amendment.
  842         (3)If a majority of the legislatures of the member states
  843  rejects a rule by enactment of a statute or resolution in the
  844  same manner used to adopt the compact within 4 years after the
  845  date of adoption of the rule, such rule does not have further
  846  force and effect in any member state.
  847         (4)Rules or amendments to the rules must be adopted at a
  848  regular or special meeting of the commission.
  849         (5)Before adoption of a final rule by the commission, and
  850  at least 30 days in advance of the meeting at which the rule
  851  will be considered and voted upon, the commission shall file a
  852  notice of proposed rulemaking:
  853         (a)On the website of the commission or other publicly
  854  accessible platform; and
  855         (b)On the website of each member state’s professional
  856  counseling licensing board or other publicly accessible platform
  857  or in the publication in which each state would otherwise
  858  publish proposed rules.
  859         (6)The notice of proposed rulemaking must include:
  860         (a)The proposed time, date, and location of the meeting in
  861  which the rule will be considered and voted upon;
  862         (b)The text of the proposed rule or amendment and the
  863  reason for the proposed rule;
  864         (c)A request for comments on the proposed rule from any
  865  interested person; and
  866         (d)The manner in which interested persons may submit
  867  notice to the commission of their intention to attend the public
  868  hearing and any written comments.
  869         (7)Before adoption of a proposed rule, the commission must
  870  allow persons to submit written data, facts, opinions, and
  871  arguments, which must be made available to the public.
  872         (8)The commission shall grant an opportunity for a public
  873  hearing before it adopts a rule or an amendment if a hearing is
  874  requested by:
  875         (a)At least 25 persons who submit comments independently
  876  of each other;
  877         (b)A state or federal governmental subdivision or agency;
  878  or
  879         (c)An association that has at least 25 members.
  880         (9)If a hearing is held on the proposed rule or amendment,
  881  the commission must publish the place, time, and date of the
  882  scheduled public hearing. If the hearing is held through
  883  electronic means, the commission must publish the mechanism for
  884  access to the electronic hearing.
  885         (a)All persons wishing to be heard at the hearing must
  886  notify the executive director of the commission or other
  887  designated member in writing of their desire to appear and
  888  testify at the hearing at least 5 business days before the
  889  scheduled date of the hearing.
  890         (b)Hearings must be conducted in a manner providing each
  891  person who wishes to comment a fair and reasonable opportunity
  892  to comment orally or in writing.
  893         (c)All hearings must be recorded. A copy of the recording
  894  must be made available on request.
  895         (d)This section may not be construed to require a separate
  896  hearing on each rule. Rules may be grouped at hearings required
  897  by this section for the convenience of the commission.
  898         (10)If the commission does not receive a written notice of
  899  intent to attend the public hearing by interested parties, the
  900  commission may proceed with adoption of the proposed rule
  901  without a public hearing.
  902         (11)Following the scheduled hearing date, or by the close
  903  of business on the scheduled hearing date if the hearing was not
  904  held, the commission shall consider all written and oral
  905  comments received.
  906         (12)The commission, by majority vote of all members, shall
  907  take final action on the proposed rule and shall determine the
  908  effective date of the rule based on the rulemaking record and
  909  the full text of the rule.
  910         (13)Upon determination that an emergency exists, the
  911  commission may consider and adopt an emergency rule without
  912  prior notice, opportunity for comment, or hearing, provided that
  913  the usual rulemaking procedures provided in the compact and in
  914  this section are retroactively applied to the rule as soon as
  915  reasonably possible, but no later than 90 days after the
  916  effective date of the rule. For purposes of this subsection, an
  917  emergency rule is one that must be adopted immediately in order
  918  to:
  919         (a)Meet an imminent threat to public health, safety, or
  920  welfare;
  921         (b)Prevent a loss of commission or member state funds;
  922         (c)Meet a deadline for the adoption of an administrative
  923  rule established by federal law or rule; or
  924         (d)Protect public health and safety.
  925         (14)The commission or an authorized committee of the
  926  commission may direct revisions to a previously adopted rule or
  927  amendment for purposes of correcting typographical errors,
  928  errors in format, errors in consistency, or grammatical errors.
  929  Public notice of any revision must be posted on the website of
  930  the commission. Revisions are subject to challenge by any person
  931  for a period of 30 days after posting. A revision may be
  932  challenged only on grounds that the revision results in a
  933  material change to a rule. A challenge must be made in writing
  934  and delivered to the chair of the commission before the end of
  935  the notice period. If a challenge is not made, the revision
  936  takes effect without further action. If a revision is
  937  challenged, the revision may not take effect without the
  938  approval of the commission.
  940                             ARTICLE XII                           
  942                 DISPUTE RESOLUTION; AND ENFORCEMENT               
  943         (1)OVERSIGHT.—
  944         (a)The executive, legislative, and judicial branches of
  945  state government in each member state shall enforce the compact
  946  and take all actions necessary and appropriate to effectuate the
  947  compact’s purposes and intent. The compact and the rules adopted
  948  thereunder have standing as statutory law.
  949         (b)All courts shall take judicial notice of the compact
  950  and the rules in any judicial or administrative proceeding in a
  951  member state pertaining to the subject matter of the compact
  952  which may affect the powers, responsibilities, or actions of the
  953  commission.
  954         (c)The commission is entitled to receive service of
  955  process in any judicial or administrative proceeding specified
  956  in paragraph (b) and has standing to intervene in such a
  957  proceeding for all purposes. Failure to provide service of
  958  process to the commission renders a judgment or an order void as
  959  to the commission, the compact, or adopted rules.
  961         (a)If the commission determines that a member state has
  962  defaulted in the performance of its obligations or
  963  responsibilities under the compact or adopted rules, the
  964  commission must:
  965         1.Provide written notice to the defaulting state and other
  966  member states of the nature of the default, the proposed means
  967  of curing the default, and any other action to be taken by the
  968  commission; and
  969         2.Provide remedial training and specific technical
  970  assistance regarding the default.
  971         (b)If a state in default fails to cure the default, the
  972  defaulting state may be terminated from the compact upon an
  973  affirmative vote of a majority of the member states, and all
  974  rights, privileges, and benefits conferred by the compact are
  975  terminated on the effective date of termination. A cure of the
  976  default does not relieve the offending state of obligations or
  977  liabilities incurred during the period of default.
  978         (c)Termination of membership in the compact may be imposed
  979  only after all other means of securing compliance have been
  980  exhausted. The commission shall submit a notice of intent to
  981  suspend or terminate a defaulting member state to that state’s
  982  governor, to the majority and minority leaders of that state’s
  983  legislature, and to each member state.
  984         (d)A member state that has been terminated is responsible
  985  for all assessments, obligations, and liabilities incurred
  986  through the effective date of termination, including obligations
  987  that extend beyond the effective date of termination.
  988         (e)The commission may not bear any costs related to a
  989  member state that is found to be in default or that has been
  990  terminated from the compact, unless agreed upon in writing
  991  between the commission and the defaulting member state.
  992         (f)The defaulting member state may appeal the action of
  993  the commission by petitioning the United States District Court
  994  for the District of Columbia or the federal district where the
  995  commission has its principal offices. The prevailing party must
  996  be awarded all costs of such litigation, including reasonable
  997  attorney fees.
  998         (3)DISPUTE RESOLUTION.—
  999         (a)Upon request by a member state, the commission shall
 1000  attempt to resolve disputes related to the compact which arise
 1001  among member states and between member and nonmember states.
 1002         (b)The commission shall adopt rules providing for both
 1003  mediation and binding dispute resolution for disputes as
 1004  appropriate.
 1005         (4)ENFORCEMENT.—
 1006         (a)The commission, in the reasonable exercise of its
 1007  discretion, shall enforce the provisions and rules of the
 1008  compact.
 1009         (b)By majority vote, the commission may initiate legal
 1010  action in the United States District Court for the District of
 1011  Columbia or the federal district where the commission has its
 1012  principal offices against a member state in default to enforce
 1013  compliance with the compact and its adopted rules and bylaws.
 1014  The relief sought may include both injunctive relief and
 1015  damages. If judicial enforcement is necessary, the prevailing
 1016  party must be awarded all costs of such litigation, including
 1017  reasonable attorney fees.
 1018         (c)The remedies under this article are not the exclusive
 1019  remedies to the commission. The commission may pursue any other
 1020  remedies available under federal or state law.
 1022                            ARTICLE XIII                           
 1025         (1)The compact becomes effective on the date on which the
 1026  compact is enacted into law in the 10th member state. The
 1027  provisions that become effective at that time are limited to the
 1028  powers granted to the commission relating to assembly and the
 1029  adoption of rules. Thereafter, the commission shall meet and
 1030  exercise rulemaking powers necessary for implementation and
 1031  administration of the compact.
 1032         (2)Any state that joins the compact subsequent to the
 1033  commission’s initial adoption of the rules is subject to the
 1034  rules as they exist on the date on which the compact becomes law
 1035  in that state. Any rule that has been previously adopted by the
 1036  commission has the full force and effect of law on the day the
 1037  compact becomes law in that state.
 1038         (3)Any member state may withdraw from the compact by
 1039  enacting a statute repealing the compact.
 1040         (a)A member state’s withdrawal does not take effect until
 1041  6 months after enactment of the repealing statute.
 1042         (b)Withdrawal does not affect the continuing requirement
 1043  of the withdrawing state’s professional counseling licensing
 1044  board to comply with the investigative and adverse action
 1045  reporting requirements of the compact before the effective date
 1046  of withdrawal.
 1047         (4)The compact may not be construed to invalidate or
 1048  prevent any professional counseling licensure agreement or other
 1049  cooperative arrangement between a member state and a nonmember
 1050  state which does not conflict with the compact.
 1051         (5)The compact may be amended by the member states. An
 1052  amendment to the compact is not effective and binding upon any
 1053  member state until it is enacted into the laws of all member
 1054  states.
 1055                             ARTICLE XIV                           
 1056              BINDING EFFECT OF COMPACT AND OTHER LAWS             
 1057         (1)A licensee providing professional counseling services
 1058  in a remote state under the privilege to practice shall adhere
 1059  to the laws and regulations, including scope of practice, of the
 1060  remote state.
 1061         (2)The compact does not prevent the enforcement of any
 1062  other law of a member state which is not inconsistent with the
 1063  compact.
 1064         (3)Any laws in a member state which conflict with the
 1065  compact are superseded to the extent of the conflict.
 1066         (4)Any lawful actions of the commission, including all
 1067  rules and bylaws properly adopted by the commission, are binding
 1068  on the member states.
 1069         (5)All permissible agreements between the commission and
 1070  the member states are binding in accordance with their terms.
 1071         (6)If any provision of the compact exceeds the
 1072  constitutional limits imposed on the legislature of any member
 1073  state, the provision shall be ineffective to the extent of the
 1074  conflict with the constitutional provision in question in that
 1075  member state.
 1077                             ARTICLE XV                            
 1078                    CONSTRUCTION AND SEVERABILITY                  
 1079         The compact must be liberally construed so as to effectuate
 1080  the purposes thereof. The provisions of the compact are
 1081  severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence, or provision of
 1082  the compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of
 1083  any member state or of the United States or the applicability
 1084  thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance is
 1085  held invalid, the validity of the remainder of the compact and
 1086  the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or
 1087  circumstance is not affected thereby. If the compact is held
 1088  contrary to the constitution of any member state, the compact
 1089  remains in full force and effect as to the remaining member
 1090  states and in full force and effect as to the member state
 1091  affected as to all severable matters.
 1092         Section 2. Subsection (10) of section 456.073, Florida
 1093  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1094         456.073 Disciplinary proceedings.—Disciplinary proceedings
 1095  for each board shall be within the jurisdiction of the
 1096  department.
 1097         (10) The complaint and all information obtained pursuant to
 1098  the investigation by the department are confidential and exempt
 1099  from s. 119.07(1) until 10 days after probable cause has been
 1100  found to exist by the probable cause panel or by the department,
 1101  or until the regulated professional or subject of the
 1102  investigation waives his or her privilege of confidentiality,
 1103  whichever occurs first. The department shall report any
 1104  significant investigation information relating to a nurse
 1105  holding a multistate license to the coordinated licensure
 1106  information system pursuant to s. 464.0095, and any significant
 1107  investigatory information relating to a health care practitioner
 1108  practicing under the Professional Counselors Licensure Compact
 1109  to the data system pursuant to s. 491.017. Upon completion of
 1110  the investigation and a recommendation by the department to find
 1111  probable cause, and pursuant to a written request by the subject
 1112  or the subject’s attorney, the department shall provide the
 1113  subject an opportunity to inspect the investigative file or, at
 1114  the subject’s expense, forward to the subject a copy of the
 1115  investigative file. Notwithstanding s. 456.057, the subject may
 1116  inspect or receive a copy of any expert witness report or
 1117  patient record connected with the investigation if the subject
 1118  agrees in writing to maintain the confidentiality of any
 1119  information received under this subsection until 10 days after
 1120  probable cause is found and to maintain the confidentiality of
 1121  patient records pursuant to s. 456.057. The subject may file a
 1122  written response to the information contained in the
 1123  investigative file. Such response must be filed within 20 days
 1124  of mailing by the department, unless an extension of time has
 1125  been granted by the department. This subsection does not
 1126  prohibit the department from providing such information to any
 1127  law enforcement agency or to any other regulatory agency.
 1128         Section 3. Subsection (5) of section 456.076, Florida
 1129  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1130         456.076 Impaired practitioner programs.—
 1131         (5) A consultant shall enter into a participant contract
 1132  with an impaired practitioner and shall establish the terms of
 1133  monitoring and shall include the terms in a participant
 1134  contract. In establishing the terms of monitoring, the
 1135  consultant may consider the recommendations of one or more
 1136  approved evaluators, treatment programs, or treatment providers.
 1137  A consultant may modify the terms of monitoring if the
 1138  consultant concludes, through the course of monitoring, that
 1139  extended, additional, or amended terms of monitoring are
 1140  required for the protection of the health, safety, and welfare
 1141  of the public. If the impaired practitioner is a health care
 1142  practitioner practicing under the Professional Counselors
 1143  Licensure Compact pursuant to s. 491.017, the terms of the
 1144  monitoring contract must include the impaired practitioner’s
 1145  withdrawal from all practice under the compact.
 1146         Section 4. Subsection (8) is added to section 491.004,
 1147  Florida Statutes, to read:
 1148         491.004 Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family
 1149  Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling.—
 1150         (8) The board shall appoint an individual to serve as the
 1151  state’s delegate on the Counseling Compact Commission, as
 1152  required under s. 491.017.
 1153         Section 5. Subsection (6) is added to section 491.005,
 1154  Florida Statutes, to read:
 1155         491.005 Licensure by examination.—
 1156         (6) EXEMPTION.—A person licensed as a clinical social
 1157  worker, marriage and family therapist, or mental health
 1158  counselor in another state who is practicing under the
 1159  Professional Counselors Licensure Compact pursuant to s.
 1160  491.017, and only within the scope provided therein, is exempt
 1161  from the licensure requirements of this section, as applicable.
 1162         Section 6. Subsection (3) is added to section 491.006,
 1163  Florida Statutes, to read:
 1164         491.006 Licensure or certification by endorsement.—
 1165         (3) A person licensed as a clinical social worker, marriage
 1166  and family therapist, or mental health counselor in another
 1167  state who is practicing under the Professional Counselors
 1168  Licensure Compact pursuant to s. 491.017, and only within the
 1169  scope provided therein, is exempt from the licensure
 1170  requirements of this section, as applicable.
 1171         Section 7. Section 491.009, Florida Statutes, is amended to
 1172  read:
 1173         491.009 Discipline.—
 1174         (1) The following acts constitute grounds for denial of a
 1175  license or disciplinary action, as specified in s. 456.072(2) or
 1176  s. 491.017:
 1177         (a) Attempting to obtain, obtaining, or renewing a license,
 1178  registration, or certificate under this chapter by bribery or
 1179  fraudulent misrepresentation or through an error of the board or
 1180  the department.
 1181         (b) Having a license, registration, or certificate to
 1182  practice a comparable profession revoked, suspended, or
 1183  otherwise acted against, including the denial of certification
 1184  or licensure by another state, territory, or country.
 1185         (c) Being convicted or found guilty of, regardless of
 1186  adjudication, or having entered a plea of nolo contendere to, a
 1187  crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice
 1188  of his or her profession or the ability to practice his or her
 1189  profession. However, in the case of a plea of nolo contendere,
 1190  the board shall allow the person who is the subject of the
 1191  disciplinary proceeding to present evidence in mitigation
 1192  relevant to the underlying charges and circumstances surrounding
 1193  the plea.
 1194         (d) False, deceptive, or misleading advertising or
 1195  obtaining a fee or other thing of value on the representation
 1196  that beneficial results from any treatment will be guaranteed.
 1197         (e) Advertising, practicing, or attempting to practice
 1198  under a name other than one’s own.
 1199         (f) Maintaining a professional association with any person
 1200  who the applicant, licensee, registered intern, or
 1201  certificateholder knows, or has reason to believe, is in
 1202  violation of this chapter or of a rule of the department or the
 1203  board.
 1204         (g) Knowingly aiding, assisting, procuring, or advising any
 1205  nonlicensed, nonregistered, or noncertified person to hold
 1206  himself or herself out as licensed, registered, or certified
 1207  under this chapter.
 1208         (h) Failing to perform any statutory or legal obligation
 1209  placed upon a person licensed, registered, or certified under
 1210  this chapter.
 1211         (i) Willfully making or filing a false report or record;
 1212  failing to file a report or record required by state or federal
 1213  law; willfully impeding or obstructing the filing of a report or
 1214  record; or inducing another person to make or file a false
 1215  report or record or to impede or obstruct the filing of a report
 1216  or record. Such report or record includes only a report or
 1217  record which requires the signature of a person licensed,
 1218  registered, or certified under this chapter.
 1219         (j) Paying a kickback, rebate, bonus, or other remuneration
 1220  for receiving a patient or client, or receiving a kickback,
 1221  rebate, bonus, or other remuneration for referring a patient or
 1222  client to another provider of mental health care services or to
 1223  a provider of health care services or goods; referring a patient
 1224  or client to oneself for services on a fee-paid basis when those
 1225  services are already being paid for by some other public or
 1226  private entity; or entering into a reciprocal referral
 1227  agreement.
 1228         (k) Committing any act upon a patient or client which would
 1229  constitute sexual battery or which would constitute sexual
 1230  misconduct as defined pursuant to s. 491.0111.
 1231         (l) Making misleading, deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent
 1232  representations in the practice of any profession licensed,
 1233  registered, or certified under this chapter.
 1234         (m) Soliciting patients or clients personally, or through
 1235  an agent, through the use of fraud, intimidation, undue
 1236  influence, or a form of overreaching or vexatious conduct.
 1237         (n) Failing to make available to a patient or client, upon
 1238  written request, copies of tests, reports, or documents in the
 1239  possession or under the control of the licensee, registered
 1240  intern, or certificateholder which have been prepared for and
 1241  paid for by the patient or client.
 1242         (o) Failing to respond within 30 days to a written
 1243  communication from the department or the board concerning any
 1244  investigation by the department or the board, or failing to make
 1245  available any relevant records with respect to any investigation
 1246  about the licensee’s, registered intern’s, or
 1247  certificateholder’s conduct or background.
 1248         (p) Being unable to practice the profession for which he or
 1249  she is licensed, registered, or certified under this chapter
 1250  with reasonable skill or competence as a result of any mental or
 1251  physical condition or by reason of illness; drunkenness; or
 1252  excessive use of drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other
 1253  substance. In enforcing this paragraph, upon a finding by the
 1254  State Surgeon General, the State Surgeon General’s designee, or
 1255  the board that probable cause exists to believe that the
 1256  licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder is unable to
 1257  practice the profession because of the reasons stated in this
 1258  paragraph, the department shall have the authority to compel a
 1259  licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder to submit to a
 1260  mental or physical examination by psychologists, physicians, or
 1261  other licensees under this chapter, designated by the department
 1262  or board. If the licensee, registered intern, or
 1263  certificateholder refuses to comply with such order, the
 1264  department’s order directing the examination may be enforced by
 1265  filing a petition for enforcement in the circuit court in the
 1266  circuit in which the licensee, registered intern, or
 1267  certificateholder resides or does business. The licensee,
 1268  registered intern, or certificateholder against whom the
 1269  petition is filed may shall not be named or identified by
 1270  initials in any public court records or documents, and the
 1271  proceedings shall be closed to the public. The department shall
 1272  be entitled to the summary procedure provided in s. 51.011. A
 1273  licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder affected under
 1274  this paragraph shall at reasonable intervals be afforded an
 1275  opportunity to demonstrate that he or she can resume the
 1276  competent practice for which he or she is licensed, registered,
 1277  or certified with reasonable skill and safety to patients.
 1278         (q) Performing any treatment or prescribing any therapy
 1279  which, by the prevailing standards of the mental health
 1280  professions in the community, would constitute experimentation
 1281  on human subjects, without first obtaining full, informed, and
 1282  written consent.
 1283         (r) Failing to meet the minimum standards of performance in
 1284  professional activities when measured against generally
 1285  prevailing peer performance, including the undertaking of
 1286  activities for which the licensee, registered intern, or
 1287  certificateholder is not qualified by training or experience.
 1288         (s) Delegating professional responsibilities to a person
 1289  whom the licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder knows
 1290  or has reason to know is not qualified by training or experience
 1291  to perform such responsibilities.
 1292         (t) Violating a rule relating to the regulation of the
 1293  profession or a lawful order of the department or the board
 1294  previously entered in a disciplinary hearing.
 1295         (u) Failure of the licensee, registered intern, or
 1296  certificateholder to maintain in confidence a communication made
 1297  by a patient or client in the context of such services, except
 1298  as provided in s. 491.0147.
 1299         (v) Making public statements which are derived from test
 1300  data, client contacts, or behavioral research and which identify
 1301  or damage research subjects or clients.
 1302         (w) Violating any provision of this chapter or chapter 456,
 1303  or any rules adopted pursuant thereto.
 1304         (2)(a) The board or, in the case of certified master social
 1305  workers, the department may enter an order denying licensure or
 1306  imposing any of the penalties authorized in s. 456.072(2)
 1307  against any applicant for licensure or any licensee who violates
 1308  subsection (1) or s. 456.072(1).
 1309         (b)The board may take adverse action against a clinical
 1310  social worker’s, a marriage and family therapist’s, or a mental
 1311  health counselor’s privilege to practice under the Professional
 1312  Counselors Licensure Compact pursuant to s. 491.017 and may
 1313  impose any of the penalties in s. 456.072(2) if the clinical
 1314  social worker, marriage and family therapist, or mental health
 1315  counselor commits an act specified in subsection (1) or s.
 1316  456.072(1).
 1317         Section 8. Paragraph (h) is added to subsection (10) of
 1318  section 768.28, Florida Statutes, to read:
 1319         768.28 Waiver of sovereign immunity in tort actions;
 1320  recovery limits; civil liability for damages caused during a
 1321  riot; limitation on attorney fees; statute of limitations;
 1322  exclusions; indemnification; risk management programs.—
 1323         (10)
 1324         (h) For purposes of this section, the individual appointed
 1325  under s. 491.004(8) as the state’s delegate on the Counseling
 1326  Compact Commission, when serving in that capacity pursuant to s.
 1327  491.017, and any administrator, officer, executive director,
 1328  employee, or representative of the commission, when acting
 1329  within the scope of his or her employment, duties, or
 1330  responsibilities in this state, is considered an agent of the
 1331  state. The commission shall pay any claims or judgments pursuant
 1332  to this section and may maintain insurance coverage to pay any
 1333  such claims or judgments.
 1334         Section 9. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.