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. 124 125 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 126 127 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: 133 134 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. 166 167 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. 273 274 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. 353 354 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). 423 424 ARTICLE V 425 OBTAINING A NEW HOME STATE LICENSE BASED ON A PRIVILEGE TO 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. 475 476 ARTICLE VI 477 ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONNEL AND THEIR SPOUSES 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. 486 487 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. 498 499 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. 567 568 ARTICLE IX 569 ESTABLISHMENT OF COUNSELING COMPACT COMMISSION 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. 605 (3) MEETINGS OF THE COMMISSION.— 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. 730 (6) FINANCING OF THE COMMISSION.— 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. 758 (7) QUALIFIED IMMUNITY, DEFENSE, AND INDEMNIFICATION.— 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. 792 793 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. 832 833 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. 942 943 ARTICLE XII 944 OVERSIGHT; DEFAULT, TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, AND TERMINATION; 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. 963 (2) DEFAULT, TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, AND TERMINATION.— 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. 1024 1025 ARTICLE XIII 1026 DATE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE COUNSELING COMPACT COMMISSION AND 1027 ASSOCIATED RULES, WITHDRAWAL, AND AMENDMENT 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. 1079 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
shallnot 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.