Florida Senate - 2022                              CS for SB 358
       By the Committee on Health Policy; and Senator Rodriguez
       588-01039-22                                           2022358c1
    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; requiring the department to notify the
  121         Division of Law Revision upon enactment of the compact
  122         into law by 10 states; providing a contingent
  123         effective date.
  125  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  127         Section 1. Section 491.017, Florida Statutes, is created to
  128  read:
  129         491.017 Professional Counselors Licensure Compact.—The
  130  Professional Counselors Licensure Compact is hereby enacted and
  131  entered into by this state with all other jurisdictions legally
  132  joining therein in the form substantially as follows:
  134                              ARTICLE I                            
  135                               PURPOSE                             
  136         The compact is designed to achieve the following purposes
  137  and objectives:
  138         (1)Facilitate interstate practice of licensed professional
  139  counseling to increase public access to professional counseling
  140  services by providing for the mutual recognition of other member
  141  state licenses.
  142         (2)Enhance the member states’ ability to protect the
  143  public’s health and safety.
  144         (3)Encourage the cooperation of member states in
  145  regulating multistate practice of licensed professional
  146  counselors.
  147         (4)Support spouses of relocating active duty military
  148  personnel.
  149         (5)Facilitate the exchange of information between member
  150  states regarding licensure, investigations, adverse actions, and
  151  disciplinary history of licensed professional counselors.
  152         (6)Allow for the use of telehealth technology to
  153  facilitate increased access to professional counseling services.
  154         (7)Support the uniformity of professional counseling
  155  licensure requirements throughout member states to promote
  156  public safety and public health benefits.
  157         (8)Provide member states with the authority to hold a
  158  licensed professional counselor accountable for meeting all
  159  state practice laws in the state in which the client is located
  160  at the time care is rendered through the mutual recognition of
  161  member state licenses.
  162         (9)Eliminate the necessity for licensed professional
  163  counselors to hold licenses in multiple states and provide
  164  opportunities for interstate practice by licensed professional
  165  counselors who meet uniform licensure requirements.
  167                             ARTICLE II                            
  168                             DEFINITIONS                           
  169         As used in this compact, the term:
  170         (1)“Active duty military” means full-time duty status in
  171  the active uniformed service of the United States, including,
  172  but not limited to, members of the National Guard and Reserve on
  173  active duty orders pursuant to 10 U.S.C. chapters 1209 and 1211.
  174         (2)“Adverse action” means any administrative, civil, or
  175  criminal action authorized by a state’s laws which is imposed by
  176  a licensing board or other authority against a licensed
  177  professional counselor, including actions against an
  178  individual’s license or privilege to practice, such as
  179  revocation, suspension, probation, monitoring of the licensee,
  180  limitation on the licensee’s practice, issuance of a cease and
  181  desist action, or any other encumbrance on licensure affecting a
  182  licensed professional counselor’s authorization to practice.
  183         (3)“Alternative program” means a nondisciplinary
  184  monitoring or practice remediation process approved by a
  185  professional counseling licensing board to address impaired
  186  practitioners.
  187         (4)“Continuing education” means a requirement, as a
  188  condition of license renewal, to participate in or complete
  189  educational and professional activities relevant to the
  190  licensee’s practice or area of work.
  191         (5)“Counseling Compact Commission” or “commission” means
  192  the national administrative body whose membership consists of
  193  all states that have enacted the compact.
  194         (6)“Current significant investigative information” means:
  195         (a)Investigative information that a licensing board, after
  196  a preliminary inquiry that includes notification and an
  197  opportunity for the licensed professional counselor to respond,
  198  if required by state law, has reason to believe is not
  199  groundless and, if proved true, would indicate more than a minor
  200  infraction; or
  201         (b)Investigative information that indicates that the
  202  licensed professional counselor represents an immediate threat
  203  to public health and safety, regardless of whether the licensed
  204  professional counselor has been notified and had an opportunity
  205  to respond.
  206         (7)Data system” means a repository of information about
  207  licensees, including, but not limited to, information relating
  208  to continuing education, examinations, licensure statuses,
  209  investigations, the privilege to practice, and adverse actions.
  210         (8)“Encumbered license” means a license in which an
  211  adverse action restricts the practice of licensed professional
  212  counseling by the licensee and said adverse action has been
  213  reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank.
  214         (9)“Encumbrance” means a revocation or suspension of, or
  215  any limitation on, the full and unrestricted practice of
  216  licensed professional counseling by a licensing board.
  217         (10)“Executive committee” means a group of directors
  218  elected or appointed to act on behalf of, and within the powers
  219  granted to them by, the commission.
  220         (11)“Home state” means the member state that is the
  221  licensee’s primary state of residence.
  222         (12)“Impaired practitioner” means an individual who has a
  223  condition that may impair his or her ability to safely practice
  224  as a licensed professional counselor without intervention. Such
  225  impairment may include, but is not limited to, alcohol or drug
  226  dependence, mental health conditions, and neurological or
  227  physical conditions.
  228         (13)“Investigative information” means information,
  229  records, or documents received or generated by a professional
  230  counseling licensing board pursuant to an investigation.
  231         (14)“Jurisprudence requirement,” if required by a member
  232  state, means the assessment of an individual’s knowledge of the
  233  laws and rules governing the practice of professional counseling
  234  in a state.
  235         (15)“Licensed professional counselor” means a mental
  236  health counselor licensed under chapter 491 or a counselor
  237  licensed by a member state, regardless of the title used by that
  238  state, to independently assess, diagnose, and treat behavioral
  239  health conditions.
  240         (16)“Licensee” means an individual who currently holds an
  241  authorization from the state to practice as a licensed
  242  professional counselor.
  243         (17)“Licensing board” means the agency of a state, or
  244  equivalent, that is responsible for the licensing and regulation
  245  of licensed professional counselors.
  246         (18)“Member state” means a state that has enacted the
  247  compact.
  248         (19)Privilege to practice” means a legal authorization,
  249  which is equivalent to a license, authorizing the practice of
  250  professional counseling in a remote state.
  251         (20)“Professional counseling” means the assessment,
  252  diagnosis, and treatment of behavioral health conditions by a
  253  licensed professional counselor.
  254         (21)“Remote state” means a member state, other than the
  255  home state, where a licensee is exercising or seeking to
  256  exercise the privilege to practice.
  257         (22)“Rule” means a regulation adopted by the commission
  258  which has the force of law.
  259         (23)“Single state license” means a licensed professional
  260  counselor license issued by a member state which authorizes
  261  practice only within the issuing state and does not include a
  262  privilege to practice in any other member state.
  263         (24)“State” means any state, commonwealth, district, or
  264  territory of the United States of America which regulates the
  265  practice of professional counseling.
  266         (25)“Telehealth” means the application of
  267  telecommunication technology to deliver professional counseling
  268  services remotely to assess, diagnose, and treat behavioral
  269  health conditions.
  270         (26)“Unencumbered license” means a license that authorizes
  271  a licensed professional counselor to engage in the full and
  272  unrestricted practice of professional counseling.
  274                             ARTICLE III                           
  275                         STATE PARTICIPATION                       
  276         (1)To participate in the compact, a state must currently
  277  do all of the following:
  278         (a)License and regulate licensed professional counselors.
  279         (b)Require licensees to pass a nationally recognized exam
  280  approved by the commission.
  281         (c)Require licensees to have a 60 semester hour, or 90
  282  quarter hour, master’s degree in counseling or 60 semester
  283  hours, or 90 quarter hours, of graduate coursework including all
  284  of the following topic areas:
  285         1.Professional counseling orientation and ethical
  286  practice.
  287         2.Social and cultural diversity.
  288         3.Human growth and development.
  289         4.Career development.
  290         5.Counseling and helping relationships.
  291         6.Group counseling and group work.
  292         7.Diagnosis, assessment, testing, and treatment.
  293         8.Research and program evaluation.
  294         9.Other areas as determined by the commission.
  295         (d)Require licensees to complete a supervised postgraduate
  296  professional experience as defined by the commission.
  297         (e)Have a mechanism in place for receiving and
  298  investigating complaints about licensees.
  299         (2)A member state shall do all of the following:
  300         (a)Participate fully in the commission’s data system,
  301  including using the commission’s unique identifier as defined in
  302  rules adopted by the commission.
  303         (b)Notify the commission, in compliance with the terms of
  304  the compact and rules adopted by the commission, of any adverse
  305  action or the availability of investigative information
  306  regarding a licensee.
  307         (c)Implement or utilize procedures for considering the
  308  criminal history records of applicants for an initial privilege
  309  to practice. These procedures must include the submission of
  310  fingerprints or other biometric-based information by applicants
  311  for the purpose of obtaining an applicant’s criminal history
  312  record information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and
  313  the agency responsible for retaining that state’s criminal
  314  records.
  315         1.A member state must fully implement a criminal
  316  background check requirement, within a timeframe established by
  317  rule, by receiving the results of the Federal Bureau of
  318  Investigation record search and shall use the results in making
  319  licensure decisions.
  320         2.Communication between a member state and the commission
  321  and among member states regarding the verification of
  322  eligibility for licensure through the compact may not include
  323  any information received from the Federal Bureau of
  324  Investigation relating to a federal criminal records check
  325  performed by a member state under Public Law 92-544.
  326         (d)Comply with the rules adopted by the commission.
  327         (e)Require an applicant to obtain or retain a license in
  328  the home state and meet the home state’s qualifications for
  329  licensure or renewal of licensure, as well as all other
  330  applicable state laws.
  331         (f)Grant the privilege to practice to a licensee holding a
  332  valid unencumbered license in another member state in accordance
  333  with the terms of the compact and rules adopted by the
  334  commission.
  335         (g)Provide for the attendance of the state’s commissioner
  336  at the commission meetings.
  337         (3)Member states may charge a fee for granting the
  338  privilege to practice.
  339         (4)Individuals not residing in a member state may continue
  340  to apply for a member state’s single state license as provided
  341  under the laws of each member state. However, the single state
  342  license granted to these individuals may not be recognized as
  343  granting a privilege to practice professional counseling under
  344  the compact in any other member state.
  345         (5)Nothing in this compact affects the requirements
  346  established by a member state for the issuance of a single state
  347  license.
  348         (6)A professional counselor license issued by a home state
  349  to a resident of that state must be recognized by each member
  350  state as authorizing that licensed professional counselor to
  351  practice professional counseling, under a privilege to practice,
  352  in each member state.
  354                             ARTICLE IV                            
  355                        PRIVILEGE TO PRACTICE                      
  356         (1)To exercise the privilege to practice under the terms
  357  and provisions of the compact, the licensee must meet all of the
  358  following criteria:
  359         (a)Hold a license in the home state.
  360         (b)Have a valid United States Social Security Number or
  361  national provider identifier.
  362         (c)Be eligible for a privilege to practice in any member
  363  state in accordance with subsections (4), (7), and (8).
  364         (d)Have not had any encumbrance or restriction against any
  365  license or privilege to practice within the preceding 2 years.
  366         (e)Notify the commission that the licensee is seeking the
  367  privilege to practice within a remote state.
  368         (f)Pay any applicable fees, including any state fee, for
  369  the privilege to practice.
  370         (g)Meet any continuing education requirements established
  371  by the home state.
  372         (h)Meet any jurisprudence requirements established by the
  373  remote state in which the licensee is seeking a privilege to
  374  practice.
  375         (i)Report to the commission any adverse action,
  376  encumbrance, or restriction on a license taken by any nonmember
  377  state within 30 days after the action is taken.
  378         (2)The privilege to practice is valid until the expiration
  379  date of the home state license. The licensee must continue to
  380  meet the criteria specified in subsection (1) to renew the
  381  privilege to practice in the remote state.
  382         (3)For purposes of the compact, the practice of
  383  professional counseling occurs in the state where the client is
  384  located at the time of the counseling services. The compact does
  385  not affect the regulatory authority of states to protect public
  386  health and safety through their own system of state licensure.
  387         (4)A licensee providing professional counseling in a
  388  remote state under the privilege to practice must adhere to the
  389  laws and regulations of the remote state.
  390         (5)A licensee providing professional counseling services
  391  in a remote state is subject to that state’s regulatory
  392  authority. A remote state may, in accordance with due process
  393  and that state’s laws, remove a licensee’s privilege to practice
  394  in the remote state for a specified period of time, impose
  395  fines, or take any other action necessary to protect the health
  396  and safety of its residents. The licensee may be ineligible for
  397  a privilege to practice in any member state until the specific
  398  time for removal has passed and all fines are paid.
  399         (6)If a home state license is encumbered, a licensee loses
  400  the privilege to practice in any remote state until both of the
  401  following conditions are met:
  402         (a)The home state license is no longer encumbered.
  403         (b)The licensee has not had any encumbrance or restriction
  404  against any license or privilege to practice within the
  405  preceding 2 years.
  406         (7)Once an encumbered license in the licensee’s home state
  407  is restored to good standing, the licensee may obtain a
  408  privilege to practice in any remote state if he or she meets the
  409  requirements of subsection (1).
  410         (8)If a licensee’s privilege to practice in any remote
  411  state is removed, the individual may lose the privilege to
  412  practice in all other remote states until all of the following
  413  conditions are met:
  414         (a)The specified period of time for which the privilege to
  415  practice was removed has ended.
  416         (b)The licensee has paid all fines imposed.
  417         (c)The licensee has not had any encumbrance or restriction
  418  against any license or privilege to practice within the
  419  preceding 2 years.
  420         (9)Once the requirements of subsection (8) have been met,
  421  the licensee may obtain a privilege to practice in a remote
  422  state if he or she meets the requirements in subsection (1).
  424                              ARTICLE V                            
  426                              PRACTICE                             
  427         (1)A licensed professional counselor may hold a home state
  428  license, which allows for a privilege to practice in other
  429  member states, in only one member state at a time.
  430         (2)If a licensed professional counselor changes his or her
  431  primary state of residence by moving between two member states,
  432  then the licensed professional counselor must file an
  433  application for obtaining a new home state license based on a
  434  privilege to practice, pay all applicable fees, and notify the
  435  current and new home state in accordance with applicable rules
  436  adopted by the commission.
  437         (3)Upon receipt of an application for obtaining a new home
  438  state license based on a privilege to practice, the new home
  439  state must verify that the licensed professional counselor meets
  440  the criteria outlined in article IV through the data system. The
  441  new home state does not need to seek primary source verification
  442  for information obtained from the data system, except for the
  443  following:
  444         (a)A Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint-based
  445  criminal background check, if not previously performed or
  446  updated pursuant to applicable rules adopted by the commission
  447  in accordance with Public Law 92-544;
  448         (b)Any other criminal background check as required by the
  449  new home state; and
  450         (c)Proof of completion of any requisite jurisprudence
  451  requirements of the new home state.
  452         (4)The former home state shall convert the former home
  453  state license into a privilege to practice once the new home
  454  state has activated the new home state license in accordance
  455  with applicable rules adopted by the commission.
  456         (5)Notwithstanding any other provision of the compact, if
  457  the licensed professional counselor does not meet the criteria
  458  in article IV, the new home state may apply its own requirements
  459  for issuing a new single state license.
  460         (6)The licensed professional counselor must pay all
  461  applicable fees to the new home state in order to be issued a
  462  new home state license for purposes of the compact.
  463         (7)If a licensed professional counselor changes his or her
  464  primary state of residence by moving from a member state to a
  465  nonmember state or from a nonmember state to a member state, the
  466  new state’s own criteria apply for issuance of a single state
  467  license in the new state.
  468         (8)The compact does not interfere with a licensee’s
  469  ability to hold a single state license in multiple states.
  470  However, for the purposes of the compact, a licensee may have
  471  only one home state license.
  472         (9)The compact does not affect the requirements
  473  established by a member state for the issuance of a single state
  474  license.
  476                             ARTICLE VI                            
  478         Active duty military personnel, or their spouse, shall
  479  designate a home state where the individual has a current
  480  license in good standing. The individual may retain the home
  481  state license designation during the period the service member
  482  is on active duty. Subsequent to designating a home state, the
  483  individual may change his or her home state only through
  484  application for licensure in the new state or through the
  485  process outlined in article V.
  487                             ARTICLE VII                           
  488              COMPACT PRIVILEGE TO PRACTICE TELEHEALTH             
  489         (1)Member states shall recognize the right of a licensed
  490  professional counselor, licensed by a home state in accordance
  491  with article III and under rules adopted by the commission, to
  492  practice professional counseling in any member state through
  493  telehealth under a privilege to practice as provided in the
  494  compact and rules adopted by the commission.
  495         (2)A licensee providing professional counseling services
  496  in a remote state through telehealth under the privilege to
  497  practice must adhere to the laws and rules of the remote state.
  499                            ARTICLE VIII                           
  500                           ADVERSE ACTIONS                         
  501         (1)In addition to the other powers conferred by state law,
  502  a remote state has the authority, in accordance with existing
  503  state due process law, to do any of the following:
  504         (a)Take adverse action against a licensed professional
  505  counselor’s privilege to practice within that member state.
  506         (b)Issue subpoenas for both hearings and investigations
  507  that require the attendance and testimony of witnesses or the
  508  production of evidence. Subpoenas issued by a licensing board in
  509  a member state for the attendance and testimony of witnesses or
  510  the production of evidence from another member state must be
  511  enforced in the latter state by any court of competent
  512  jurisdiction, according to the practice and procedure of that
  513  court applicable to subpoenas issued in proceedings pending
  514  before it. The issuing authority shall pay any witness fees,
  515  travel expenses, mileage, and other fees required by the service
  516  statutes of the state in which the witnesses or evidence is
  517  located.
  518         (2)Only the home state has the power to take adverse
  519  action against a licensed professional counselor’s license
  520  issued by the home state.
  521         (3)For purposes of taking adverse action, the home state
  522  shall give the same priority and effect to reported conduct
  523  received from a member state as it would if the conduct had
  524  occurred within the home state. The home state shall apply its
  525  own state laws to determine appropriate action in such cases.
  526         (4)The home state shall complete any pending
  527  investigations of a licensed professional counselor who changes
  528  primary state of residence during the course of the
  529  investigations. The home state may also take appropriate action
  530  and shall promptly report the conclusions of the investigations
  531  to the administrator of the data system. The administrator of
  532  the data system shall promptly notify the new home state of any
  533  adverse actions.
  534         (5)A member state, if authorized by state law, may recover
  535  from the affected licensed professional counselor the costs of
  536  investigations and dispositions of any cases resulting from
  537  adverse action taken against that licensed professional
  538  counselor.
  539         (6)A member state may take adverse action against a
  540  licensed professional counselor based on the factual findings of
  541  a remote state, provided that the member state follows its own
  542  statutory procedures for taking adverse action.
  543         (7)(a)In addition to the authority granted to a member
  544  state by its respective professional counseling practice act or
  545  other applicable state law, any member state may participate
  546  with other member states in joint investigations of licensees.
  547         (b)Member states shall share any investigative,
  548  litigation, or compliance materials in furtherance of any joint
  549  or individual investigation initiated under the compact.
  550         (8)If adverse action is taken by the home state against
  551  the license of a professional counselor, the licensed
  552  professional counselor’s privilege to practice in all other
  553  member states must be deactivated until all encumbrances have
  554  been removed from the home state license. All home state
  555  disciplinary orders that impose adverse action against the
  556  license of a professional counselor must include a statement
  557  that the licensed professional counselor’s privilege to practice
  558  is deactivated in all member states while the order is in
  559  effect.
  560         (9)If a member state takes adverse action, it must
  561  promptly notify the administrator of the data system. The
  562  administrator shall promptly notify the licensee’s home state of
  563  any adverse actions by remote states.
  564         (10)Nothing in the compact overrides a member state’s
  565  decision to allow a licensed professional counselor to
  566  participate in an alternative program in lieu of adverse action.
  568                             ARTICLE IX                            
  570         (1)COMMISSION CREATED.—The compact member states hereby
  571  create and establish a joint public agency known as the
  572  Counseling Compact Commission.
  573         (a)The commission is an instrumentality of the compact
  574  states.
  575         (b)Venue is proper, and judicial proceedings by or against
  576  the commission shall be brought solely and exclusively in a
  577  court of competent jurisdiction where the principal office of
  578  the commission is located. The commission may waive venue and
  579  jurisdictional defenses to the extent that it adopts or consents
  580  to participate in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
  581         (c)Nothing in the compact may be construed to be a waiver
  582  of sovereign immunity.
  583         (2)MEMBERSHIP.—
  584         (a)The commission shall consist of one voting delegate,
  585  appointed by each member state’s licensing board. The
  586  commission, by rule, shall establish a term of office for
  587  delegates and may establish term limits.
  588         (b)The delegate must be either:
  589         1.A current member of the licensing board at the time of
  590  appointment, who is a licensed professional counselor or public
  591  member; or
  592         2.An administrator of the licensing board.
  593         (c)A delegate may be removed or suspended from office as
  594  provided by the law of the state from which the delegate is
  595  appointed.
  596         (d)The member state licensing board must fill any vacancy
  597  occurring on the commission within 60 days.
  598         (e)Each delegate is entitled to one vote with regard to
  599  the adoption of rules and creation of bylaws and shall otherwise
  600  participate in the business and affairs of the commission.
  601         (f)A delegate shall vote in person or by such other means
  602  as provided in the bylaws. The bylaws may provide for delegates’
  603  participation in meetings by telephone or other means of
  604  communication.
  606         (a)The commission shall meet at least once during each
  607  calendar year. Additional meetings must be held as set forth in
  608  the bylaws.
  609         (b)All meetings must be open to the public, and public
  610  notice of meetings must be given in the same manner as required
  611  under the rulemaking provisions in article XI.
  612         (c)The commission or the executive committee or other
  613  committees of the commission may convene in a closed, nonpublic
  614  meeting if the commission or executive committee or other
  615  committees of the commission must discuss any of the following:
  616         1.Noncompliance of a member state with its obligations
  617  under the compact.
  618         2.The employment, compensation, discipline, or other
  619  matters, practices, or procedures related to specific employees,
  620  or other matters related to the commission’s internal personnel
  621  practices and procedures.
  622         3.Current, threatened, or reasonably anticipated
  623  litigation.
  624         4.Negotiation of contracts for the purchase, lease, or
  625  sale of goods, services, or real estate.
  626         5.Accusing any person of a crime or formally censuring any
  627  person.
  628         6.Disclosure of trade secrets or commercial or financial
  629  information that is privileged or confidential.
  630         7.Disclosure of information of a personal nature if
  631  disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of
  632  personal privacy.
  633         8.Disclosure of investigative records compiled for law
  634  enforcement purposes.
  635         9.Disclosure of information related to any investigative
  636  reports prepared by or on behalf of or for use of the commission
  637  or other committee charged with responsibility of investigation
  638  or determination of compliance issues pursuant to the compact.
  639         10.Matters specifically exempted from disclosure by
  640  federal or member state law.
  641         (d)If a meeting, or portion of a meeting, is closed under
  642  this subsection, the commission’s legal counsel or designee must
  643  certify that the meeting may be closed and must reference each
  644  relevant exempting provision.
  645         (e)The commission shall keep minutes that fully and
  646  clearly describe all matters discussed in a meeting and shall
  647  provide a full and accurate summary of actions taken, and the
  648  reasons therefore, including a description of the views
  649  expressed. All documents considered in connection with an action
  650  must be identified in such minutes. All minutes and documents of
  651  a closed meeting must remain under seal, subject to release by a
  652  majority vote of the commission or order of a court of competent
  653  jurisdiction.
  654         (4)POWERS.—The commission may do any of the following:
  655         (a)Establish the fiscal year of the commission.
  656         (b)Establish bylaws.
  657         (c)Maintain its financial records in accordance with the
  658  bylaws.
  659         (d)Meet and take actions that are consistent with the
  660  compact and bylaws.
  661         (e)Adopt rules that are binding to the extent and in the
  662  manner provided for in the compact.
  663         (f)Initiate and prosecute legal proceedings or actions in
  664  the name of the commission, provided that the standing of any
  665  state licensing board to sue or be sued under applicable law is
  666  not affected.
  667         (g)Purchase and maintain insurance and bonds.
  668         (h)Borrow, accept, or contract for services of personnel,
  669  including, but not limited to, employees of a member state.
  670         (i)Hire employees and elect or appoint officers; fix
  671  compensation for, define duties of, and grant appropriate
  672  authority to such employees and officers to carry out the
  673  purposes of the compact; and establish the commission’s
  674  personnel policies and programs relating to conflicts of
  675  interest, qualifications of personnel, and other related
  676  personnel matters.
  677         (j)Accept any and all appropriate donations and grants of
  678  money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services, and
  679  receive, utilize, and dispose of the same, provided that at all
  680  times the commission avoids any appearance of impropriety or
  681  conflict of interest.
  682         (k)Lease, purchase, accept appropriate gifts or donations
  683  of, or otherwise own, hold, improve, or use, any property, real,
  684  personal, or mixed, provided that at all times the commission
  685  avoids any appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest.
  686         (l)Sell, convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange,
  687  abandon, or otherwise dispose of any property, real, personal,
  688  or mixed.
  689         (m)Establish a budget and make expenditures.
  690         (n)Borrow money.
  691         (o)Appoint committees, including standing committees
  692  consisting of commission members, state regulators, state
  693  legislators or their representatives, and consumer
  694  representatives, and such other interested persons as may be
  695  designated in the compact and bylaws.
  696         (p)Provide information to, receive information from, and
  697  cooperate with law enforcement agencies.
  698         (q)Establish and elect an executive committee.
  699         (r)Perform any other function that may be necessary or
  700  appropriate to achieve the purposes of the compact and is
  701  consistent with the state regulation of professional counseling
  702  licensure and practice.
  703         (5)THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.—
  704         (a)The executive committee may act on behalf of the
  705  commission according to the terms of the compact and shall
  706  consist of up to 11 members, as follows:
  707         1.Seven voting members who are elected by the commission
  708  from the current membership of the commission.
  709         2.Up to four ex officio, nonvoting members from four
  710  recognized national professional counselor organizations. The ex
  711  officio members shall be selected by their respective
  712  organizations.
  713         (b)The commission may remove any member of the executive
  714  committee as provided in its bylaws.
  715         (c)The executive committee shall meet at least annually.
  716         (d)The executive committee shall do all of the following:
  717         1.Make recommendations to the commission for any changes
  718  to the rules, bylaws, or compact legislation; fees paid by
  719  compact member states; and any fees charged to licensees for the
  720  privilege to practice.
  721         2.Ensure compact administration services are appropriately
  722  provided, contractually or otherwise.
  723         3.Prepare and recommend the budget.
  724         4.Maintain financial records on behalf of the commission.
  725         5.Monitor compact compliance of member states and provide
  726  compliance reports to the commission.
  727         6.Establish additional committees as necessary.
  728         7.Perform any other duties provided for in the rules or
  729  bylaws.
  731         (a)The commission shall pay, or provide for the payment
  732  of, the reasonable expenses of its establishment, organization,
  733  and ongoing activities.
  734         (b)The commission may accept any appropriate revenue
  735  sources, donations, or grants of money, equipment, supplies,
  736  materials, or services.
  737         (c)The commission may levy and collect an annual
  738  assessment from each member state or impose fees on other
  739  parties to cover the cost of the operations and activities of
  740  the commission and its staff. Such assessments and fees must be
  741  in a total amount sufficient to cover its annual budget as
  742  approved each year for which revenue is not provided by other
  743  sources. The aggregate annual assessment amount must be
  744  allocated based on a formula to be determined by the commission,
  745  which shall adopt a rule binding on all member states.
  746         (d)The commission may not incur obligations of any kind
  747  before securing the funds adequate to meet the same; nor may the
  748  commission pledge the credit of any of the member states, except
  749  by and with the authority of the member state.
  750         (e)The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all
  751  receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of
  752  the commission are subject to the audit and accounting
  753  procedures established under its bylaws. However, all receipts
  754  and disbursements of funds handled by the commission must be
  755  audited annually by a certified or licensed public accountant,
  756  and the report of the audit must be included in and become part
  757  of the annual report of the commission.
  759         (a)The members, officers, executive director, employees,
  760  and representatives of the commission are immune from suit and
  761  liability, either personally or in their official capacity, for
  762  any claim for damage to or loss of property or personal injury
  763  or other civil liability caused by or arising out of any actual
  764  or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred, or that the
  765  person against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for
  766  believing occurred, within the scope of commission employment,
  767  duties, or responsibilities. This paragraph may not be construed
  768  to protect any such person from suit or liability for any
  769  damage, loss, injury, or liability caused by the intentional or
  770  willful or wanton misconduct of that person.
  771         (b)The commission shall defend any member, officer,
  772  executive director, employee, or representative of the
  773  commission in any civil action seeking to impose liability
  774  arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission
  775  that occurred, or that the person against whom the claim is made
  776  had a reasonable basis for believing occurred, within the scope
  777  of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided
  778  that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not
  779  result from that person’s intentional or willful or wanton
  780  misconduct. This paragraph may not be construed to prohibit that
  781  person from retaining his or her own counsel.
  782         (c)The commission shall indemnify and hold harmless any
  783  member, officer, executive director, employee, or representative
  784  of the commission for the amount of any settlement or judgment
  785  obtained against that person arising out of any actual or
  786  alleged act, error, or omission that occurred, or that such
  787  person had a reasonable basis for believing occurred, within the
  788  scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities,
  789  provided that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did
  790  not result from the intentional or willful or wanton misconduct
  791  of that person.
  793                              ARTICLE X                            
  794                             DATA SYSTEM                           
  795         (1)The commission shall provide for the development,
  796  operation, and maintenance of a coordinated database and
  797  reporting system containing licensure, adverse action, and
  798  investigative information on all licensed professional
  799  counselors in member states.
  800         (2)Notwithstanding any other provision of state law to the
  801  contrary, a member state shall submit a uniform data set to the
  802  data system on all licensees to whom the compact is applicable,
  803  as required by the rules of the commission, including all of the
  804  following:
  805         (a)Identifying information.
  806         (b)Licensure data.
  807         (c)Adverse actions against a license or privilege to
  808  practice.
  809         (d)Nonconfidential information related to alternative
  810  program participation.
  811         (e)Any denial of application for licensure and the reason
  812  for such denial.
  813         (f)Current significant investigative information.
  814         (g)Other information that may facilitate the
  815  administration of the compact, as determined by the rules of the
  816  commission.
  817         (3)Investigative information pertaining to a licensee in
  818  any member state may be made available only to other member
  819  states.
  820         (4)The commission shall promptly notify all member states
  821  of any adverse action taken against a licensee or an individual
  822  applying for a license. Adverse action information pertaining to
  823  a licensee in any member state must be made available to any
  824  other member state.
  825         (5)Member states reporting information to the data system
  826  may designate information that may not be shared with the public
  827  without the express permission of the reporting state.
  828         (6)Any information submitted to the data system which is
  829  subsequently required to be expunged by the laws of the member
  830  state reporting the information must be removed from the data
  831  system.
  833                             ARTICLE XI                            
  834                             RULEMAKING                            
  835         (1)The commission shall adopt reasonable rules to
  836  effectively and efficiently achieve the purposes of the compact.
  837  If, however, the commission exercises its rulemaking authority
  838  in a manner that is beyond the scope of the purposes of the
  839  compact, or the powers granted hereunder, then such an action by
  840  the commission is invalid and has no force or effect.
  841         (2)The commission shall exercise its rulemaking powers
  842  pursuant to the criteria set forth in this article and the rules
  843  adopted thereunder. Rules and amendments become binding as of
  844  the date specified in each rule or amendment.
  845         (3)If a majority of the legislatures of the member states
  846  rejects a rule by enactment of a statute or resolution in the
  847  same manner used to adopt the compact within 4 years after the
  848  date of adoption of the rule, such rule does not have further
  849  force and effect in any member state.
  850         (4)Rules or amendments to the rules must be adopted at a
  851  regular or special meeting of the commission.
  852         (5)Before adoption of a final rule by the commission, and
  853  at least 30 days in advance of the meeting at which the rule
  854  will be considered and voted upon, the commission shall file a
  855  notice of proposed rulemaking:
  856         (a)On the website of the commission or other publicly
  857  accessible platform; and
  858         (b)On the website of each member state’s professional
  859  counseling licensing board or other publicly accessible platform
  860  or in the publication in which each state would otherwise
  861  publish proposed rules.
  862         (6)The notice of proposed rulemaking must include:
  863         (a)The proposed time, date, and location of the meeting in
  864  which the rule will be considered and voted upon;
  865         (b)The text of the proposed rule or amendment and the
  866  reason for the proposed rule;
  867         (c)A request for comments on the proposed rule from any
  868  interested person; and
  869         (d)The manner in which interested persons may submit
  870  notice to the commission of their intention to attend the public
  871  hearing and any written comments.
  872         (7)Before adoption of a proposed rule, the commission must
  873  allow persons to submit written data, facts, opinions, and
  874  arguments, which must be made available to the public.
  875         (8)The commission shall grant an opportunity for a public
  876  hearing before it adopts a rule or an amendment if a hearing is
  877  requested by:
  878         (a)At least 25 persons who submit comments independently
  879  of each other;
  880         (b)A state or federal governmental subdivision or agency;
  881  or
  882         (c)An association that has at least 25 members.
  883         (9)If a hearing is held on the proposed rule or amendment,
  884  the commission must publish the place, time, and date of the
  885  scheduled public hearing. If the hearing is held through
  886  electronic means, the commission must publish the mechanism for
  887  access to the electronic hearing.
  888         (a)All persons wishing to be heard at the hearing must
  889  notify the executive director of the commission or other
  890  designated member in writing of their desire to appear and
  891  testify at the hearing at least 5 business days before the
  892  scheduled date of the hearing.
  893         (b)Hearings must be conducted in a manner providing each
  894  person who wishes to comment a fair and reasonable opportunity
  895  to comment orally or in writing.
  896         (c)All hearings must be recorded. A copy of the recording
  897  must be made available on request.
  898         (d)This section may not be construed to require a separate
  899  hearing on each rule. Rules may be grouped at hearings required
  900  by this section for the convenience of the commission.
  901         (10)If the commission does not receive a written notice of
  902  intent to attend the public hearing by interested parties, the
  903  commission may proceed with adoption of the proposed rule
  904  without a public hearing.
  905         (11)Following the scheduled hearing date, or by the close
  906  of business on the scheduled hearing date if the hearing was not
  907  held, the commission shall consider all written and oral
  908  comments received.
  909         (12)The commission, by majority vote of all members, shall
  910  take final action on the proposed rule and shall determine the
  911  effective date of the rule based on the rulemaking record and
  912  the full text of the rule.
  913         (13)Upon determination that an emergency exists, the
  914  commission may consider and adopt an emergency rule without
  915  prior notice, opportunity for comment, or hearing, provided that
  916  the usual rulemaking procedures provided in the compact and in
  917  this section are retroactively applied to the rule as soon as
  918  reasonably possible, but no later than 90 days after the
  919  effective date of the rule. For purposes of this subsection, an
  920  emergency rule is one that must be adopted immediately in order
  921  to:
  922         (a)Meet an imminent threat to public health, safety, or
  923  welfare;
  924         (b)Prevent a loss of commission or member state funds;
  925         (c)Meet a deadline for the adoption of an administrative
  926  rule established by federal law or rule; or
  927         (d)Protect public health and safety.
  928         (14)The commission or an authorized committee of the
  929  commission may direct revisions to a previously adopted rule or
  930  amendment for purposes of correcting typographical errors,
  931  errors in format, errors in consistency, or grammatical errors.
  932  Public notice of any revision must be posted on the website of
  933  the commission. Revisions are subject to challenge by any person
  934  for a period of 30 days after posting. A revision may be
  935  challenged only on grounds that the revision results in a
  936  material change to a rule. A challenge must be made in writing
  937  and delivered to the chair of the commission before the end of
  938  the notice period. If a challenge is not made, the revision
  939  takes effect without further action. If a revision is
  940  challenged, the revision may not take effect without the
  941  approval of the commission.
  943                             ARTICLE XII                           
  945                 DISPUTE RESOLUTION; AND ENFORCEMENT               
  946         (1)OVERSIGHT.—
  947         (a)The executive, legislative, and judicial branches of
  948  state government in each member state shall enforce the compact
  949  and take all actions necessary and appropriate to effectuate the
  950  compact’s purposes and intent. The compact and the rules adopted
  951  thereunder have standing as statutory law.
  952         (b)All courts shall take judicial notice of the compact
  953  and the rules in any judicial or administrative proceeding in a
  954  member state pertaining to the subject matter of the compact
  955  which may affect the powers, responsibilities, or actions of the
  956  commission.
  957         (c)The commission is entitled to receive service of
  958  process in any judicial or administrative proceeding specified
  959  in paragraph (b) and has standing to intervene in such a
  960  proceeding for all purposes. Failure to provide service of
  961  process to the commission renders a judgment or an order void as
  962  to the commission, the compact, or adopted rules.
  964         (a)If the commission determines that a member state has
  965  defaulted in the performance of its obligations or
  966  responsibilities under the compact or adopted rules, the
  967  commission must:
  968         1.Provide written notice to the defaulting state and other
  969  member states of the nature of the default, the proposed means
  970  of curing the default, and any other action to be taken by the
  971  commission; and
  972         2.Provide remedial training and specific technical
  973  assistance regarding the default.
  974         (b)If a state in default fails to cure the default, the
  975  defaulting state may be terminated from the compact upon an
  976  affirmative vote of a majority of the member states, and all
  977  rights, privileges, and benefits conferred by the compact are
  978  terminated on the effective date of termination. A cure of the
  979  default does not relieve the offending state of obligations or
  980  liabilities incurred during the period of default.
  981         (c)Termination of membership in the compact may be imposed
  982  only after all other means of securing compliance have been
  983  exhausted. The commission shall submit a notice of intent to
  984  suspend or terminate a defaulting member state to that state’s
  985  governor, to the majority and minority leaders of that state’s
  986  legislature, and to each member state.
  987         (d)A member state that has been terminated is responsible
  988  for all assessments, obligations, and liabilities incurred
  989  through the effective date of termination, including obligations
  990  that extend beyond the effective date of termination.
  991         (e)The commission may not bear any costs related to a
  992  member state that is found to be in default or that has been
  993  terminated from the compact, unless agreed upon in writing
  994  between the commission and the defaulting member state.
  995         (f)The defaulting member state may appeal the action of
  996  the commission by petitioning the United States District Court
  997  for the District of Columbia or the federal district where the
  998  commission has its principal offices. The prevailing party must
  999  be awarded all costs of such litigation, including reasonable
 1000  attorney fees.
 1001         (3)DISPUTE RESOLUTION.—
 1002         (a)Upon request by a member state, the commission shall
 1003  attempt to resolve disputes related to the compact which arise
 1004  among member states and between member and nonmember states.
 1005         (b)The commission shall adopt rules providing for both
 1006  mediation and binding dispute resolution for disputes as
 1007  appropriate.
 1008         (4)ENFORCEMENT.—
 1009         (a)The commission, in the reasonable exercise of its
 1010  discretion, shall enforce the provisions and rules of the
 1011  compact.
 1012         (b)By majority vote, the commission may initiate legal
 1013  action in the United States District Court for the District of
 1014  Columbia or the federal district where the commission has its
 1015  principal offices against a member state in default to enforce
 1016  compliance with the compact and its adopted rules and bylaws.
 1017  The relief sought may include both injunctive relief and
 1018  damages. If judicial enforcement is necessary, the prevailing
 1019  party must be awarded all costs of such litigation, including
 1020  reasonable attorney fees.
 1021         (c)The remedies under this article are not the exclusive
 1022  remedies to the commission. The commission may pursue any other
 1023  remedies available under federal or state law.
 1025                            ARTICLE XIII                           
 1028         (1)The compact becomes effective on the date on which the
 1029  compact is enacted into law in the 10th member state. The
 1030  provisions that become effective at that time are limited to the
 1031  powers granted to the commission relating to assembly and the
 1032  adoption of rules. Thereafter, the commission shall meet and
 1033  exercise rulemaking powers necessary for implementation and
 1034  administration of the compact.
 1035         (2)Any state that joins the compact subsequent to the
 1036  commission’s initial adoption of the rules is subject to the
 1037  rules as they exist on the date on which the compact becomes law
 1038  in that state. Any rule that has been previously adopted by the
 1039  commission has the full force and effect of law on the day the
 1040  compact becomes law in that state.
 1041         (3)Any member state may withdraw from the compact by
 1042  enacting a statute repealing the compact.
 1043         (a)A member state’s withdrawal does not take effect until
 1044  6 months after enactment of the repealing statute.
 1045         (b)Withdrawal does not affect the continuing requirement
 1046  of the withdrawing state’s professional counseling licensing
 1047  board to comply with the investigative and adverse action
 1048  reporting requirements of the compact before the effective date
 1049  of withdrawal.
 1050         (4)The compact may not be construed to invalidate or
 1051  prevent any professional counseling licensure agreement or other
 1052  cooperative arrangement between a member state and a nonmember
 1053  state which does not conflict with the compact.
 1054         (5)The compact may be amended by the member states. An
 1055  amendment to the compact is not effective and binding upon any
 1056  member state until it is enacted into the laws of all member
 1057  states.
 1058                             ARTICLE XIV                           
 1059              BINDING EFFECT OF COMPACT AND OTHER LAWS             
 1060         (1)A licensee providing professional counseling services
 1061  in a remote state under the privilege to practice shall adhere
 1062  to the laws and regulations, including scope of practice, of the
 1063  remote state.
 1064         (2)The compact does not prevent the enforcement of any
 1065  other law of a member state which is not inconsistent with the
 1066  compact.
 1067         (3)Any laws in a member state which conflict with the
 1068  compact are superseded to the extent of the conflict.
 1069         (4)Any lawful actions of the commission, including all
 1070  rules and bylaws properly adopted by the commission, are binding
 1071  on the member states.
 1072         (5)All permissible agreements between the commission and
 1073  the member states are binding in accordance with their terms.
 1074         (6)If any provision of the compact exceeds the
 1075  constitutional limits imposed on the legislature of any member
 1076  state, the provision shall be ineffective to the extent of the
 1077  conflict with the constitutional provision in question in that
 1078  member state.
 1080                             ARTICLE XV                            
 1081                    CONSTRUCTION AND SEVERABILITY                  
 1082         The compact must be liberally construed so as to effectuate
 1083  the purposes thereof. The provisions of the compact are
 1084  severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence, or provision of
 1085  the compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of
 1086  any member state or of the United States or the applicability
 1087  thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance is
 1088  held invalid, the validity of the remainder of the compact and
 1089  the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or
 1090  circumstance is not affected thereby. If the compact is held
 1091  contrary to the constitution of any member state, the compact
 1092  remains in full force and effect as to the remaining member
 1093  states and in full force and effect as to the member state
 1094  affected as to all severable matters.
 1095         Section 2. Subsection (10) of section 456.073, Florida
 1096  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1097         456.073 Disciplinary proceedings.—Disciplinary proceedings
 1098  for each board shall be within the jurisdiction of the
 1099  department.
 1100         (10) The complaint and all information obtained pursuant to
 1101  the investigation by the department are confidential and exempt
 1102  from s. 119.07(1) until 10 days after probable cause has been
 1103  found to exist by the probable cause panel or by the department,
 1104  or until the regulated professional or subject of the
 1105  investigation waives his or her privilege of confidentiality,
 1106  whichever occurs first. The department shall report any
 1107  significant investigation information relating to a nurse
 1108  holding a multistate license to the coordinated licensure
 1109  information system pursuant to s. 464.0095, and any significant
 1110  investigatory information relating to a health care practitioner
 1111  practicing under the Professional Counselors Licensure Compact
 1112  to the data system pursuant to s. 491.017. Upon completion of
 1113  the investigation and a recommendation by the department to find
 1114  probable cause, and pursuant to a written request by the subject
 1115  or the subject’s attorney, the department shall provide the
 1116  subject an opportunity to inspect the investigative file or, at
 1117  the subject’s expense, forward to the subject a copy of the
 1118  investigative file. Notwithstanding s. 456.057, the subject may
 1119  inspect or receive a copy of any expert witness report or
 1120  patient record connected with the investigation if the subject
 1121  agrees in writing to maintain the confidentiality of any
 1122  information received under this subsection until 10 days after
 1123  probable cause is found and to maintain the confidentiality of
 1124  patient records pursuant to s. 456.057. The subject may file a
 1125  written response to the information contained in the
 1126  investigative file. Such response must be filed within 20 days
 1127  of mailing by the department, unless an extension of time has
 1128  been granted by the department. This subsection does not
 1129  prohibit the department from providing such information to any
 1130  law enforcement agency or to any other regulatory agency.
 1131         Section 3. Subsection (5) of section 456.076, Florida
 1132  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1133         456.076 Impaired practitioner programs.—
 1134         (5) A consultant shall enter into a participant contract
 1135  with an impaired practitioner and shall establish the terms of
 1136  monitoring and shall include the terms in a participant
 1137  contract. In establishing the terms of monitoring, the
 1138  consultant may consider the recommendations of one or more
 1139  approved evaluators, treatment programs, or treatment providers.
 1140  A consultant may modify the terms of monitoring if the
 1141  consultant concludes, through the course of monitoring, that
 1142  extended, additional, or amended terms of monitoring are
 1143  required for the protection of the health, safety, and welfare
 1144  of the public. If the impaired practitioner is a health care
 1145  practitioner practicing under the Professional Counselors
 1146  Licensure Compact pursuant to s. 491.017, the terms of the
 1147  monitoring contract must include the impaired practitioner’s
 1148  withdrawal from all practice under the compact.
 1149         Section 4. Subsection (8) is added to section 491.004,
 1150  Florida Statutes, to read:
 1151         491.004 Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family
 1152  Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling.—
 1153         (8) The board shall appoint an individual to serve as the
 1154  state’s delegate on the Counseling Compact Commission, as
 1155  required under s. 491.017.
 1156         Section 5. Subsection (6) is added to section 491.005,
 1157  Florida Statutes, to read:
 1158         491.005 Licensure by examination.—
 1159         (6) EXEMPTION.—A person licensed as a clinical social
 1160  worker, marriage and family therapist, or mental health
 1161  counselor in another state who is practicing under the
 1162  Professional Counselors Licensure Compact pursuant to s.
 1163  491.017, and only within the scope provided therein, is exempt
 1164  from the licensure requirements of this section, as applicable.
 1165         Section 6. Subsection (3) is added to section 491.006,
 1166  Florida Statutes, to read:
 1167         491.006 Licensure or certification by endorsement.—
 1168         (3) A person licensed as a clinical social worker, marriage
 1169  and family therapist, or mental health counselor in another
 1170  state who is practicing under the Professional Counselors
 1171  Licensure Compact pursuant to s. 491.017, and only within the
 1172  scope provided therein, is exempt from the licensure
 1173  requirements of this section, as applicable.
 1174         Section 7. Section 491.009, Florida Statutes, is amended to
 1175  read:
 1176         491.009 Discipline.—
 1177         (1) The following acts constitute grounds for denial of a
 1178  license or disciplinary action, as specified in s. 456.072(2) or
 1179  s. 491.017:
 1180         (a) Attempting to obtain, obtaining, or renewing a license,
 1181  registration, or certificate under this chapter by bribery or
 1182  fraudulent misrepresentation or through an error of the board or
 1183  the department.
 1184         (b) Having a license, registration, or certificate to
 1185  practice a comparable profession revoked, suspended, or
 1186  otherwise acted against, including the denial of certification
 1187  or licensure by another state, territory, or country.
 1188         (c) Being convicted or found guilty of, regardless of
 1189  adjudication, or having entered a plea of nolo contendere to, a
 1190  crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice
 1191  of his or her profession or the ability to practice his or her
 1192  profession. However, in the case of a plea of nolo contendere,
 1193  the board shall allow the person who is the subject of the
 1194  disciplinary proceeding to present evidence in mitigation
 1195  relevant to the underlying charges and circumstances surrounding
 1196  the plea.
 1197         (d) False, deceptive, or misleading advertising or
 1198  obtaining a fee or other thing of value on the representation
 1199  that beneficial results from any treatment will be guaranteed.
 1200         (e) Advertising, practicing, or attempting to practice
 1201  under a name other than one’s own.
 1202         (f) Maintaining a professional association with any person
 1203  who the applicant, licensee, registered intern, or
 1204  certificateholder knows, or has reason to believe, is in
 1205  violation of this chapter or of a rule of the department or the
 1206  board.
 1207         (g) Knowingly aiding, assisting, procuring, or advising any
 1208  nonlicensed, nonregistered, or noncertified person to hold
 1209  himself or herself out as licensed, registered, or certified
 1210  under this chapter.
 1211         (h) Failing to perform any statutory or legal obligation
 1212  placed upon a person licensed, registered, or certified under
 1213  this chapter.
 1214         (i) Willfully making or filing a false report or record;
 1215  failing to file a report or record required by state or federal
 1216  law; willfully impeding or obstructing the filing of a report or
 1217  record; or inducing another person to make or file a false
 1218  report or record or to impede or obstruct the filing of a report
 1219  or record. Such report or record includes only a report or
 1220  record which requires the signature of a person licensed,
 1221  registered, or certified under this chapter.
 1222         (j) Paying a kickback, rebate, bonus, or other remuneration
 1223  for receiving a patient or client, or receiving a kickback,
 1224  rebate, bonus, or other remuneration for referring a patient or
 1225  client to another provider of mental health care services or to
 1226  a provider of health care services or goods; referring a patient
 1227  or client to oneself for services on a fee-paid basis when those
 1228  services are already being paid for by some other public or
 1229  private entity; or entering into a reciprocal referral
 1230  agreement.
 1231         (k) Committing any act upon a patient or client which would
 1232  constitute sexual battery or which would constitute sexual
 1233  misconduct as defined pursuant to s. 491.0111.
 1234         (l) Making misleading, deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent
 1235  representations in the practice of any profession licensed,
 1236  registered, or certified under this chapter.
 1237         (m) Soliciting patients or clients personally, or through
 1238  an agent, through the use of fraud, intimidation, undue
 1239  influence, or a form of overreaching or vexatious conduct.
 1240         (n) Failing to make available to a patient or client, upon
 1241  written request, copies of tests, reports, or documents in the
 1242  possession or under the control of the licensee, registered
 1243  intern, or certificateholder which have been prepared for and
 1244  paid for by the patient or client.
 1245         (o) Failing to respond within 30 days to a written
 1246  communication from the department or the board concerning any
 1247  investigation by the department or the board, or failing to make
 1248  available any relevant records with respect to any investigation
 1249  about the licensee’s, registered intern’s, or
 1250  certificateholder’s conduct or background.
 1251         (p) Being unable to practice the profession for which he or
 1252  she is licensed, registered, or certified under this chapter
 1253  with reasonable skill or competence as a result of any mental or
 1254  physical condition or by reason of illness; drunkenness; or
 1255  excessive use of drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other
 1256  substance. In enforcing this paragraph, upon a finding by the
 1257  State Surgeon General, the State Surgeon General’s designee, or
 1258  the board that probable cause exists to believe that the
 1259  licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder is unable to
 1260  practice the profession because of the reasons stated in this
 1261  paragraph, the department shall have the authority to compel a
 1262  licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder to submit to a
 1263  mental or physical examination by psychologists, physicians, or
 1264  other licensees under this chapter, designated by the department
 1265  or board. If the licensee, registered intern, or
 1266  certificateholder refuses to comply with such order, the
 1267  department’s order directing the examination may be enforced by
 1268  filing a petition for enforcement in the circuit court in the
 1269  circuit in which the licensee, registered intern, or
 1270  certificateholder resides or does business. The licensee,
 1271  registered intern, or certificateholder against whom the
 1272  petition is filed may shall not be named or identified by
 1273  initials in any public court records or documents, and the
 1274  proceedings shall be closed to the public. The department shall
 1275  be entitled to the summary procedure provided in s. 51.011. A
 1276  licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder affected under
 1277  this paragraph shall at reasonable intervals be afforded an
 1278  opportunity to demonstrate that he or she can resume the
 1279  competent practice for which he or she is licensed, registered,
 1280  or certified with reasonable skill and safety to patients.
 1281         (q) Performing any treatment or prescribing any therapy
 1282  which, by the prevailing standards of the mental health
 1283  professions in the community, would constitute experimentation
 1284  on human subjects, without first obtaining full, informed, and
 1285  written consent.
 1286         (r) Failing to meet the minimum standards of performance in
 1287  professional activities when measured against generally
 1288  prevailing peer performance, including the undertaking of
 1289  activities for which the licensee, registered intern, or
 1290  certificateholder is not qualified by training or experience.
 1291         (s) Delegating professional responsibilities to a person
 1292  whom the licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder knows
 1293  or has reason to know is not qualified by training or experience
 1294  to perform such responsibilities.
 1295         (t) Violating a rule relating to the regulation of the
 1296  profession or a lawful order of the department or the board
 1297  previously entered in a disciplinary hearing.
 1298         (u) Failure of the licensee, registered intern, or
 1299  certificateholder to maintain in confidence a communication made
 1300  by a patient or client in the context of such services, except
 1301  as provided in s. 491.0147.
 1302         (v) Making public statements which are derived from test
 1303  data, client contacts, or behavioral research and which identify
 1304  or damage research subjects or clients.
 1305         (w) Violating any provision of this chapter or chapter 456,
 1306  or any rules adopted pursuant thereto.
 1307         (2)(a) The board or, in the case of certified master social
 1308  workers, the department may enter an order denying licensure or
 1309  imposing any of the penalties authorized in s. 456.072(2)
 1310  against any applicant for licensure or any licensee who violates
 1311  subsection (1) or s. 456.072(1).
 1312         (b)The board may take adverse action against a clinical
 1313  social worker’s, a marriage and family therapist’s, or a mental
 1314  health counselor’s privilege to practice under the Professional
 1315  Counselors Licensure Compact pursuant to s. 491.017 and may
 1316  impose any of the penalties in s. 456.072(2) if the clinical
 1317  social worker, marriage and family therapist, or mental health
 1318  counselor commits an act specified in subsection (1) or s.
 1319  456.072(1).
 1320         Section 8. Paragraph (h) is added to subsection (10) of
 1321  section 768.28, Florida Statutes, to read:
 1322         768.28 Waiver of sovereign immunity in tort actions;
 1323  recovery limits; civil liability for damages caused during a
 1324  riot; limitation on attorney fees; statute of limitations;
 1325  exclusions; indemnification; risk management programs.—
 1326         (10)
 1327         (h) For purposes of this section, the individual appointed
 1328  under s. 491.004(8) as the state’s delegate on the Counseling
 1329  Compact Commission, when serving in that capacity pursuant to s.
 1330  491.017, and any administrator, officer, executive director,
 1331  employee, or representative of the commission, when acting
 1332  within the scope of his or her employment, duties, or
 1333  responsibilities in this state, is considered an agent of the
 1334  state. The commission shall pay any claims or judgments pursuant
 1335  to this section and may maintain insurance coverage to pay any
 1336  such claims or judgments.
 1337         Section 9. The Department of Health shall notify the
 1338  Division of Law Revision upon enactment of the Professional
 1339  Counselors Licensure Compact into law by 10 states.
 1340         Section 10. This act shall take effect upon enactment of
 1341  the Professional Counselors Licensure Compact into law by 10
 1342  states.