State Rep. Julie Alexander, of Hanover, on Tuesday joined House colleagues in approving a plan to update and clarify counseling practices under Michigan law. The law has not been updated since it was enacted in 1988.
Alexander said updates are needed because the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has proposed striking the majority of the existing rules for the practice of counselors. This potential elimination will prevent many counselors from being able to practice if the proposed changes are adopted.
“Standards and practices have changed significantly since the ‘80s, and the Legislature must update the law to reflect that,” Alexander said. “We absolutely cannot allow LARA to eliminate rules that would be detrimental to the counseling industry and the people thousands of people they serve.”
The most notable update to current law will clarify the current counseling techniques to include psychotherapy and diagnosis. Additionally, statute will be updated to reflect current training standards that have changed over the past three decades.
“Counselors from across our communities have banded together to bring this issue to my attention and I want them to know I stand with them on this issue,” Alexander said. “I’m pleased we were able to help ship this legislation through our chamber and hope to see it advance swiftly through the remainder of the process.”
House Bill 4325 was approved unanimously by the House and now moves to the Senate for consideration.