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Introduced Version House Bill 4133 History

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hb4133 intr
H. B. 4133


(By Delegates Morgan, Stephens, Swartzmiller,

Talbott, Hartman, D. Poling, Martin,

Rowan, Manypenny and Staggers)

[Introduced January 19, 2010 ; referred to the

Committee on Government Organization then the Judiciary.]



A BILL to amend and reenact §30-31-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to licensed professional counselors; and clarifying the eligibility requirements to practice marriage and family therapy.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §30-31-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

ARTICLE 31. LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS.

§30-31-9. Requirements for a license to practice marriage and family therapy.

(a) To be eligible for a license to practice marriage and family therapy, an applicant must:
(1) Be of good moral character;
(2) Be at least eighteen years of age;
(3) Be a citizen of the United States or be eligible for employment in the United States;
(4) Pay the applicable fee;
(5)(A)(i) Have earned a master's in marriage and family therapy from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs or a comparable accrediting body as approved by the board or in a field closely related to an accredited marriage and family therapy program as determined by the board, or have received training equivalent to such degree as may be determined by the board; and
(ii) Have at least two years of supervised professional experience in marriage and family therapy of such a nature as is designated by the board after earning a master's or equivalent.
(B) (i) Have earned a doctorate degree in marriage and family therapy from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs, or a comparable accrediting body as approved by the board or in a field closely related to an accredited marriage and family therapy program as determined by the board, or have received training equivalent to such degree as may be determined by the board; and
(ii) Have at least one year of supervised professional experience in marriage and family therapy of such a nature as is designated by the board after earning a doctorate or equivalent. (6) Have passed a standardized national certification examination in marriage and family therapy as approved by the board.
(7) Not have been convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude under the laws of any jurisdiction:
(A) If the applicant has never been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude, the applicant shall submit letters of recommendation from three persons not related to the applicant and a sworn statement from the applicant stating that he or she has never been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude; or
(B) If the applicant has been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude, it is a rebuttable presumption that the applicant is unfit for licensure unless he or she submits competent evidence of sufficient rehabilitation and present fitness to perform the duties of a licensed professional counselor as may be established by the production of:
(i) Documentary evidence including a copy of the relevant release or discharge order, evidence showing compliance with all conditions of probation or parole, evidence showing that at least one year has elapsed since release or discharge without subsequent conviction, and letters of reference from three persons who have been in contact with the applicant since his or her release or discharge; and
(ii) Any collateral evidence and testimony as may be requested by the board which shows the nature and seriousness of the crime, the circumstances relative to the crime or crimes committed and any mitigating circumstances or social conditions surrounding the crime or crimes and any other evidence necessary for the board to judge present fitness for licensure or whether licensure will enhance the likelihood that the applicant will commit the same or similar offenses;
(8) Not be an alcohol or drug abuser as these terms are defined in section eleven, article one-a, chapter twenty-seven of this code: Provided, That an applicant who has had at least two continuous years of uninterrupted sobriety in an active recovery process, which may, in the discretion of the board, be evidenced by participation in a twelve-step program or other similar group or process, may be considered; and
(9) Has fulfilled any other requirement specified by the board.
(b) A person seeking licensure under the provisions of this section shall submit an application on a form prescribed by the board and pay all applicable fees.
(c) A person who is licensed for the five years prior to the effective date of this section and has substantially similar qualifications as required by subdivision (1), (2), (3), (4), (5)(A)(i), (5)(B)(i), (6) and (7) and (8) of subsection (a) of this section is eligible for a license to practice marriage and family therapy until July 1, 2013 2012, and is eligible for renewal under section ten.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to clarify the eligibility requirements of licensed professional counselors to practice marriage and family therapy.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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