New Jersey Becomes Thirty-Second State to Sign Interstate Counseling Compact into Law

Jan 17, 2024

The dream of many licensed professional counselors to practice across state lines continues to move forward with Governor Phil Murphy signing into law his state's Counseling Compact legislation.

This milestone makes New Jersey the thirty-second state to ratify the Counseling Compact, which allows professional counselors licensed and residing in a Compact member state to practice in other member states without the need for multiple licenses.

"The New Jersey Counseling Association is thrilled with the signing of legislation that allows us to enter into the Interstate Counseling Compact. We value the voices of our members and are proud to advocate on behalf of counselors and individuals receiving services throughout the state," said Anthony Zazzarino, Past President of the New Jersey Counseling Association. 

"This has been an incredible learning experience for all of us in NJCA, and it has been so exciting to see our membership rise to the challenge. We are so grateful for all of the support that has been offered to NJCA to help us advocate for the passing of this important legislation, and we truly believe that it's going to make a difference in the lives of so many here in NJ and beyond," said Beth Fier, Chair of the Public Policy and Legislative Issues Committee at the New Jersey Counseling Association. 

“The Compact continues to expand across the country as states recognize that the ability to practice across state lines is essential in meeting the mental health needs of so many people. The Compact represents the biggest change in the profession in 20 years and is truly historic. The significance of the changes the Compact will bring to practice represents a milestone for the profession,” said Lynn Linde, project lead.

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, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, Colorado, Louisiana, Ohio, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Delaware, Wyoming, Arkansas, Virginia, Kansas, Washington, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Indiana, Vermont, Iowa, Missouri, Connecticut, Wisconsin and New Jersey. Currently, the Counseling Compact has been introduced in at least six 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. Previously, counselors have had difficulty transferring their licenses from one state/jurisdiction to another because of the independent nature of jurisdictional licensing rules and regulations. There was little consistency regarding the requirements for licensure and these varying requirements make it difficult to transfer one’s license.

The Counseling Compact enables 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.

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