CCA is prioritizing joining the Counseling Compact this legislative session and as such is looking for CCA members to advocate for the profession's inclusion in the Compact.
Over 89% of respondents to our recent survey supported joining the Compact! With this in mind, attached are two documents that can be used to reach out to legislators and ask them to propose legislation. The first document is a one-pager with talking points that can be used to craft a message and the second is a proposed bill that can be shared directly with legislators.
The CGA website is still being updated to reflect the new legislature and the updated committees. We will share a complete contact list when available. However, in the meantime, you can utilize the cga.ct.gov website and the CGA Find Your Legislator tool to determine who represents you. Or you can look at all legislators via town at https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/content/townlist.asp. Keep in mind that the new legislature has new district lines after the redistricting process and a large incoming freshman legislative class who has yet to serve in the legislature.
Committee Bills can begin to be proposed by any legislator up until Friday, January 13th. After that point, it is up to the committee leadership what bills will be heard and/or raised by the committee. We will also be following up in the coming days with an initial bill-tracking list and instructions on how to keep track of bills throughout the session.
Below is a sample email that can be used to ask legislators to propose the Counseling Compact language! We need legislative support to make this a reality so your advocacy is helpful. If you do connect with a legislator, please let me or one of the PPLC co-chairs Karen Caffrey (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jocelyn Novella (email@example.com) know so that we can make sure to follow up with those legislators during the session.
SAMPLE OUTREACH (feel free to add your own personality/spin as this is a template email)
To: [INSERT YOUR LEGISLATOR EMAIL AND IF KNOWN COPY THEIR AIDE]
Subject: Ct Counseling Association- Support to Join Counseling Compact Needed
Hello [Rep/Senator Name],
Congratulations on your recent election to the legislature! My name is [name] and I am a licensed professional counselor [or associate or student] in Connecticut and a member of the CT Counseling Association and [live/work] in [town]. Our association is seeking legislation in the 2023 session to join the Counseling Compact.
By way of background, Licensed Professional Counselors have never been more in-demand and at a time when telemedicine has expanded, and people are living without attention to borders there is a need to ensure counselors can provide patients with continuity of care. Connecticut counselors cannot provide continuity of care to Connecticut residents who temporarily travel or work outside the state without becoming licensed in the state to which the patient has traveled.
Also, when counselors move from other states, including military spouses, they must gain licensure in Connecticut. Obtaining licensure by reciprocity can be a lengthy process and require the laborious task of ensuring each applicant has the requisite experience to meet the licensure requirements, potentially interrupting or reducing the provision of mental health services. [TALK ABOUT ANY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IMPACTING LICENSURE OR CONTINUITY OF CARE THAT WOULD BE HELPED BY THE COMPACT].
I would therefore ask if you would consider proposing a bill for Licensed Professional Counselors to join the Counseling Compact. I have attached a draft proposed bill that can be utilized. I welcome the opportunity to speak further about the value of the compact and appreciate your attention to this important issue.
Please don't hesitate to reach out to me at [contact info- email and/or phone].
[NAME, RESIDENT OF OR EMPLOYEE INFO CAN ALSO BE ADDED IF YOU WANT]