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Legislative Update – Virginia Association of Clinical Counselors

Legislative Update

Legislative Update

Legislative Update

Richmond: Among the many bills under consideration, we want to highlight two bills of note!

1. Delegate Hope has submitted a bill to prohibit any licensed health care provider or person who performs counseling from engaging in sexual orientation efforts with any person under 18 years of age.

VACC supports this bill and encourages your support as well!

HB636 (Hope) Sexual orientation change efforts prohibited. Prohibits any health care provider or person who performs counseling as part of his training for any profession licensed by a regulatory board of the Department of Health Professions from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with any person under 18 years of age. The bill defines "sexual orientation change efforts" as any practice or treatment that seeks to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender. "Sexual orientation change efforts" does not include counseling that provides assistance to a person undergoing gender transition or counseling that provides acceptance, support, and understanding of a person or facilitates a person's coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual-orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices, as long as such counseling does not seek to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill provides that no state funds shall be expended for the purpose of conducting sexual orientation change efforts, referring a person for sexual orientation change efforts, extending health benefits coverage for sexual orientation change efforts, or awarding a grant or contract to any entity that conducts sexual orientation change efforts or refers individuals for sexual orientation change efforts.

2. Delegate Mirayres has proposed HB687, which would reduce the hours of supervision to 2,400 for licensure as a professional counselor.

VACC opposes HB 687 (Mirayres)!  Simply put, this would thwart long time efforts to achieve portability between states.

HB687 (Mirayres) Licensure of professional counselors; requirements for licensure; supervision. Provides that requirements of the Board of Counseling related to supervision of applicants for licensure as a professional counselor shall not require more than 2,400 hours of supervision to be eligible for licensure.

Please visit the Virginia General Assembly website to identify your legislator and be in touch!

Katie Hellebush

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