Recent Legislative Updates
HB 76 Signed Into Law
HB76 was signed by Governor Kemp into law on May 2nd and will become effective on July 1, 2023.
HB76 is legislation introduced by GAMFT in the 2023 Georgia legislative session to update MFT licensure requirements. It updates MFT curriculum requirements to meet new COAMFTE standards and revises post graduate clinical hour requirements.
HB76 passed in the House unanimously in the original form and passed the Senate 48-1 by Committee Substitute with floor amendments. These changes left our underlying language intact. HB76 received the House vote to “agree to the Senate Substitute as amended”, was approved and sent to the Governor for approval. The Governor signed HB76 on May 2. The amendments eliminated the Georgia Occupational Regulation Review Council and gave the Governor expanded authority to appoint people to Executive Agency boards, commissions, and councils. These were the two additional changes made on the Senate floor:
- Adding this language as a new Sec. 5 “Nothing in this bill shall add any additional requirements or restrictions to clinical pastoral counselors.” There was no objection to the amendment so there was no recorded vote on it.
- Amendment 2 added licensure for “bare knuckle boxing” in Georgia to be regulated by the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission.
The GAMFT Legislative committee, lobbyist, Licensure Improvement Workgroup, GAMFT Board members, and many general members have been available and worked hard to get HB76 to this point. General membership and MFT students in Georgia also responded to advocacy requests to contact legislators. Special thanks to Abby Culin and Samantha Skurja for all their work in Webpage announcements and blast emails to GAMFT membership (most of the time on short notice). Elizabeth Appley, Steve Livingston, and Dan Upshaw were present at legislative committee hearings and provided testimony supporting HB76 when requested. Michele Smith, Andrea Meyer-Stinson, and Dave Blanchard played major roles in reviewing legislation and coordinating with mental health agencies in legislative advocacy. All deserve much credit. GAMFT lobbyist Elizabeth Appley led this effort through the legislative process flawlessly, resulting in passage of HB76 by the legislature and the signing into law by Governor Kemp. Thanks to all. GAMFT Legislative Committee is Seeking New Members! And there’s more to come! The GAMFT Legislative Committee continues their efforts year-round in preparation for the next legislative session. We invite you to click here to learn more about joining the committee, or join us for an upcoming online meeting as a way to learn more! If you are interested in receiving the log in information and finding out how you can help with GAMFT’s advocacy efforts, email us at email@example.com.