Upcoming Issue: Sunset Review

Hi there, TEAM!

There is an immediate issue before Colorado MFTs: the 2020 Sunset Review of Colorado’s Mental Health Practice Act.

A sunset review is a comprehensive analysis by the legislature of the statutes to determine, among other things, whether state regulation of the various mental health professions should continue. Sunset reviews are also an opportunity to change various sections of the statutes, if necessary.

We have the opportunity to recommend changes and strengthen the case for our license over the next year. Krista Speicher, who served as the final president of COAMFT, has been participating in DORA's review of the statute over this past year. AAMFT has agreed to chip in to hire a lobbyist to assist us in this process.

What do we need from you? Colorado’s Family TEAM is gathering of group of Colorado LMFTs and Candidates to identify and prioritize areas we identify as needing tweaking in current statute. We need your input!

If you want to be involved, send Colorado’s Family TEAM leadership a message by clicking here!

You can also learn more about the Sunset Review process, at the following website: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora-oprrr/coprrr-sunset-reviews.

Barbara Allen Ford
Current Legislative Issues

National Legislation

AAMFT is calling on members to begin working in their respective states to gather support for bipartisan legislation that would include licensed marriage and family therapists, as well as licensed mental health counselors, as Medicare eligible providers. Legislation has just been introduced in both the US House of Representatives and US Senate. The Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2019, introduced in the House as H.R. 945 by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Rep. John Katko (R-NY) and in the Senate as S. 286 by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), would add MFTs and MHCs as independent Medicare Part B practitioners.

Colorado Legislation

Several bills have been flagged to date concerning Marriage and Family practice in Colorado. HB1129 would ban conversion therapy. COAMFT supported this in the past though it did not pass last year. HB1120 lowers the age of consent to 12 year old children. It was introduced last year but did not pass. SB 010 is a revision and update of the current law authorizing use of marijuana funds for school behavioral health. The revised bill will allow Department of Education, to grant funds to school districts to contract with behavioral health providers to provide therapy in schools.

Stay Informed!

Please watch for communications, within the next several weeks inviting you to participate on-line or in-person in a focus group for the framing of a state-wide survey. Also, encourage your colleagues to sign-up for Family TEAM membership to assure that all who have an interest in advocacy for our profession are receiving updates and materials throughout this important next year. Finally, please consider adopting one or more advocacy projects. Although we will have a lobbyist for the Sunset Review, we all need to be involved in advocating for or against each piece of legislation we take a position on. Perhaps, more urgently, we need to be meeting with our congressional delegation soliciting co-sponsors for federal legislation.

Krista Speicher