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. 121 122 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 123 124 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: 130 131 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. 163 164 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. 270 271 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. 350 351 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). 420 421 ARTICLE V 422 OBTAINING A NEW HOME STATE LICENSE BASED ON A PRIVILEGE TO 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. 472 473 ARTICLE VI 474 ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONNEL AND THEIR SPOUSES 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. 483 484 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. 495 496 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. 564 565 ARTICLE IX 566 ESTABLISHMENT OF COUNSELING COMPACT COMMISSION 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. 602 (3) MEETINGS OF THE COMMISSION.— 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. 727 (6) FINANCING OF THE COMMISSION.— 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. 755 (7) QUALIFIED IMMUNITY, DEFENSE, AND INDEMNIFICATION.— 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. 789 790 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. 829 830 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. 939 940 ARTICLE XII 941 OVERSIGHT; DEFAULT, TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, AND TERMINATION; 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. 960 (2) DEFAULT, TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, AND TERMINATION.— 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. 1021 1022 ARTICLE XIII 1023 DATE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE COUNSELING COMPACT COMMISSION AND 1024 ASSOCIATED RULES, WITHDRAWAL, AND AMENDMENT 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. 1076 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
shallnot 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.