In November 2021, Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO-2) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1) introduced H.R. 6076, the Compacts, Access, and Responsible Expansion (CARE) for Mental Health Professionals Act. This legislation would establish the Mental Health Licensure Portability Program under the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to provide grants to incentivize states to enter into interstate licensure compacts.
The proposed grants will be available to interstate compact commissions that oversee a compact, as well as individual state licensure boards that are participating in a compact or are working to enter one. Grant funding would be used to develop compact commissions to formally present professional standards across member states, maintain databases of professionals in the compact states, and cover the administrative costs of maintaining the compact. The funds may also be used to incentivize mental health professionals to work in states that are participating in interstate compacts.
The legislation specifically limits funding to the development of interstate compacts for “licensed professional[s] that [are] trained to give guidance to individuals, families, and groups with respect to personal, social, or psychological problems.” This definition includes licensed professional counselors and would make state licensure boards eligible for grants to aid in joining the Counseling Compact. The commission in charge of the Counseling Compact, which would be formed by representatives from the first 10 states to adopt it, would also be eligible for funding that would aid in managing its administrative operations.
NBCC will continue to monitor this legislation and advise licensure boards about funding opportunities that will arise if the legislation passes. NBCC is committed to keeping counselors, counselor educators, and regulators updated on public policy developments at the federal level that will impact them. If you have questions about this legislation, please reach out to Jolie Long at firstname.lastname@example.org.