MPA Legislative Committee

A Historic Moment for MPA , Psychology, and Mental Health in Maryland. Governor Hogan signs HB 970 (PSYPACT) into law in May 2021.

 

MPA works with our legislative committee, lobbyists and members to monitor and respond to proposals and bills as they became available.  Through the filter of MPA’s legislative committee policies and agenda - developed ultimately from the MPA mission statement - pieces of legislation affecting insurance and reimbursement, scope of practice, children, schools, forensic services, public mental health, and other areas, legislation is scrutinized for its effect on practice and the equitable access to mental health care for the citizens of Maryland. 

During the 90-day MD legislative session, information on legislation that is of particular interest to Maryland psychologists is available in the members section of the website. Information and MPA's position on bills from the past session are also available.

 

Chair:  R. Patrick Savage, Jr.

Vice Chair:  Stephanie Wolf

MPA Staff:  Stefanie Reeves, Paul Berman, Richard Bloch

Committee Members:  Julie Bindeman, Kelly Champion, Joshua Cohen, Audrey Davis, Esther Finglass, Bill Flook, Jon Gorman, Janice Lepore, Katie Killeen, Linda McGhee, Neil Morris, Stephanie Olarte, Lynn Owens, Judy Phibbs, Ed Shearin, Peter Smith, Mark Trullinger

Mission or Role of Committee:  

To implement the legislative priorities of the Maryland Psychological Association's (MPA) Board of Directors, through consultation with legislators, provision of testimony, and advocacy for bills that protect and enhance the profession of psychology and the delivery of mental health services to all citizens of Maryland. To advise the MPA Board of Directors on all matters concerning legislation, help the Association form legislative position statements, and encourage members to take an active role in legislative advocacy. The committee also helps to encourage and facilitate grassroots involvement in and input into legislative matters at the state level.

 Annual Report ’20-’21:

  • Interview and on-board new lobbying team:  Brocatto and Associates (Barbara Brocatto & Dan Shattuck)
  • Adapted to and effectively utilized video conferencing for meeting with legislators and testifying on legislation important to MPA
  • Introduced, championed, coordinated advocacy efforts both within and outside of MPA which resulted in the unanimous passage of PSYPACT which was signed into law by the Governor of Maryland.
  • Supported legislation designed to allow for the continuing opportunity to utilize Telehealth as a mechanism to provide psychological services in Maryland.
  • Piloted use of Google Workspace for use in administering the activities and communication of the committee.
  • Coordinated with the MPA’s Political Action Committee (PAC) in order to increase the legislative impact MPA has on laws and regulations affecting the practice and delivery of mental health services in Maryland.
  • Refined structure of and operations of subcommittees established during prior year.
  • Coordinated with MPA’s Professional Practice Committee (PPC) on several issues affecting the practice of psychology, through a liaison, which is likely to become more active over the coming year.
  • Continued the process of responding to as well as reaching out and establishing/strengthening relationships with individual legislators to address mental health concerns in Maryland.
  • Established a Social Justice subcommittee to begin addressing increasingly important legislative issues affecting populations experiencing systemic discrimination in Maryland.
  • Added four new members

Current initiatives:

Coordinating with PPC to determine what steps might be taken to address problems with licensing and the current process for registering Psychological Associates

Providing information to MPA membership about the legislative activities that occurred this session as well as laws enacted that will affect practice.

Coordinate with MPA’s Education Affairs Committee (EAC) in order to provide information necessary to update members about the impact of enacted legislation on the ethical practice of psychology and managing risk.

Begin monitoring and addressing new payment models being developed for the provision of health/mental health services in Maryland.

Explore several issues that might become legislation to be proposed in the future.

Work with MPA’s Board of Directors (BOD) to identify members who possess expertise upon which MPA and LC could contact to participate on workgroups, policy development, and provide testimony on issues of import to MPA.

Currently monitoring telehealth insurance waivers, e.g., in-network vs. out-of-network including time limits on waivers and possible extensions.  Additionally, monitoring telehealth waivers for Medicare/Medicaid clients set to expire in July 2020. 

Clarify with BOD the legislative priorities of MPA in order to effectively and efficiently deploy our limited resources.

 

Find your State and Congressional Representatives 

 

MPA members who would like to join the committee or encounter a situation affecting the practice of psychology that might be addressed through legislative action, please contact the Legislative Committee Chair or Vice Chair.