Florida and Kentucky Become Eighth and Ninth States to Sign Interstate Counseling Compact into Law

Apr 12, 2022
The American Counseling Association and licensed professional counselors nationwide are celebrating the signing of Florida House Bill 1521 and Kentucky House Bill 65 in support of the Counseling Compact, which will authorize counselors to practice across state lines once enacted.

The dream of many licensed professional counselors to practice across state lines took another step forward when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed into law their states' Counseling Compact legislations. 

This milestone represents the eighth and ninth of the 10 states needed to enact the Counseling Compact allowing professional counselors licensed and residing in a compact member state to practice in other compact member states without the need for multiple licenses. 

"ACA appreciates the work of the legislatures and governors of Florida and Kentucky to make our Counseling Compact so much closer to reality,” said Richard Yep, ACA CEO, “The nine states that have approved the Counseling Compact understand the critical mental health needs of their constituents. By enacting a Counseling Compact, there is an increase in the number of eligible providers of mental health services for the states who enact this legislation.”

Funded and created by the American Counseling Association, the Counseling Compact was finalized in December 2020 and has now been passed by the legislatures in Georgia, Maryland, Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, Utah, Maine, Florida and Kentucky. Currently, the Counseling Compact has been introduced in 21 states this legislative session. 

Compacts provide a pathway for counselors to move seamlessly from one state to another through an agreement among states to recognize another state’s license. Currently, counselors have difficulty transferring their licenses from one state/jurisdiction to another because of the independent nature of jurisdictional licensing rules and regulations. There is little consistency regarding the requirements for licensure and these varying requirements make it difficult to transfer one’s license.

ACA anticipates reaching the ten-state threshold necessary to trigger the establishment of the public commission by the end of this calendar year. Once 10 states have enacted the legislation, the compact will go into effect, enabling professional counselors who meet uniform licensure requirements to quickly obtain a privilege to practice, which is equivalent to a license to practice counseling in another state.  

For more information, please visit CounselingCompact.org

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