Advocacy

WSPA's commitment to advocacy.

WSPA has a long history advocating for mental health, the field of psychology, and social issues that affect Washingtonians.

The historic priorities WSPA has always supported in regard to policy and regulatory issues are:

  1. Maintaining the integrity and strength of psychology licensing laws
  2. Address any bills that affect disciplinary process (e.g. sentencing guidelines of unprofessional conduct)
  3. Address any bills that affect how we practice (e.g. changes to mental health parity or insurance)
  4. Social justice legislation (e.g. conversion therapy)
Our Legislative Advocacy Committee (LAC) develops WSPA's annual legislative considerations which are presented to the Board of Trustees for approval or to set policy from. Legislative issues often involve the Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC) because insurance questions are the most asked from our members. Insurance issues also appear in legislation such as Volk vs DeMeerleer (Duty to Warn). 
WSPA will also comment on social issues such as racism, gun violence, women's and LGBTQ issues.
In addition to the legislative work done by our LAC and Lobbyist, WSPA affects legislation through the United Psychologists Political Action Committee (UP-PAC)


LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY COMMITTEE GOALS

GENERAL:

  1. To become aware and take action on any bill introduced in the state which might negatively affect the practice of psychology or psychological services provided to citizens of the state.  To also look for bills or ways to elevate the role or practice of psychologists/psychology.

  1. To involve WSPA members in state legislative advocacy by:
    1. Informing members of important legislation in the state,
    2. Operating a committee to inform and train members regarding the legislative process, researching the impact of bills on Psychology, and training members on creating talking points, legislative testimony, or fact sheets on bills important to Psychology,
    3. Selecting WSPA members to actively participate in legislative advocacy efforts
      1. (Attend legislative workgroup meetings on behalf of WSPA, provide testimony on bills on behalf of WSPA, or send email messages or make personal visits to a WSPA member’s state legislator).

  1. To work toward WSPA’s LAC to be recognized and respected in the state and by legislators as a fair, ethical, and competent resource regarding policy and legislative affairs.

DURING A LEGISLATIVE SESSION:

  1. LAC leadership to operate the committee in a way for members to review bills and determine each bill’s impact on Psychology.

  1. LAC leadership to work with the WSPA lobbyist to then determine the priority of bills to address and what actions to take regarding bills of interest.

  1. LAC leadership to keep the WSPA BoT informed of legislative activity and get approval from the BoT on positions WSPA will take on bills.

  1. To work closely with WSPA’s lobbyist to:
    1. Determine one consistent message regarding each bill of interest,
    2. Together develop a strategy or plan concerning each bill,
    3. Together develop materials or messages to be used regarding important bills, and,
    4. Together determine what contacts should be made to other organizations, stakeholders, or legislators regarding important bills.

OUTSIDE OF A LEGISLATIVE SESSION:

  1. Provide any research or facts to WSPA’s DPA on bills that have passed of which the DPA may be working on rules and regulations(WAC) for these new laws.

  1. Collect information from WSPA’s DPA, lobbyist, members who participated in legislative workgroups, FAC and others regarding possible future legislation.

  1. Organize the LAC members to research potential bills in a way to be prepared should legislation be introduced.

  1. Prepare WSPA’s Legislative Agenda and present this to WSPA’s BoT prior to the start of a legislative session.

  1. Develop and maintain good relationships with other organizations’ legislative policy committees and stakeholders.

  1. Possibly attend state legislative meetings.

  1. Train WSPA members regarding legislative advocacy skills (email communications, in person visits)

  1. Communicate with UP-PAC concerning upcoming important legislators; and WSPA’s BoT regarding recommendations of its Legislative Award nominee.

  1. Organize LAC members to create written material on legislation to be shared with members (research and facts obtained).

If you are interested in the LAC committee and would like to help or receive updates please email us below.

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