OLR Bill Analysis

SB 1065 (File 541, as amended by Senate “A”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING LICENSED ALCOHOL AND DRUG COUNSELORS.

SUMMARY:

This bill reinstates a requirement that alcohol and drug counselor licensure applicants complete 360 hours of education approved by the Department of Public Health (DPH) commissioner, including at least 240 hours relating to the knowledge and skill base associated with the practice of such counseling. PA 12-197 had eliminated the requirement.

The bill also requires such licensure applicants to have a master's degree in social work, marriage and family therapy, counseling, psychology, or a related field the commissioner approves that includes at least 18 graduate semester hours in counseling or counseling-related subjects. Under current law, applicants must have a master's degree in an unspecified field, and the 18 graduate hours in counseling or related subjects need not be part of the master's degree program. PA 12-197 had removed the requirement that the 18 graduate hours be completed as part of the master's degree program.

The bill specifies that on and after passage, applicants for an initial license to engage in alcohol and drug counseling must meet the requirements under law and the bill. But this does not apply to people licensed on and after June 15, 2012 (the date the governor signed PA 12-197) and before the bill's passage. (In other words, someone licensed before the bill's passage under the requirements of PA 12-197 need not meet the bill's requirements.)

By law, to become a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, an applicant must also:

1. complete 300 hours of supervised practical training in such counseling that the commissioner deems acceptable,

2. complete three years of supervised paid work or an unpaid internship that the commissioner deems acceptable that involves working directly with alcohol and drug clients (a master's degree can be substituted for one year of such experience), and

3. pass a DPH-prescribed examination.

*Senate Amendment “A” adds the provisions (1) regarding the master's degree and (2) specifying which people are subject to the requirements.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Health Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

18

Nay

10

(04/01/2013)