Legislative Agenda, Tracked Bills and Legislative Update
Integrity and strength of licensing statute and disciplinary process: This priority includes retaining our right to independent practice without oversight by others, and an independent examining board. Prioritizing the licensing statute allows psychologists to practice freely without the bounds of their competence and our professional ethics, while also allowing the public to have confidence in the integrity of what being a licensed psychologist in Washington State means. Paying close attention to any bills affecting our discipline process ensures that Washington psychologists meet the highest ethical standards, and also that we receive due process in handling of complaints.
Responding to bills affecting the practice of psychology: Two goals in service of our mission are to support the professional lives of psychologists throughout their lifespan, and to assist members with information to address a dynamic and changing healthcare environment. Any bills that affect the day-to-day practice and obligations of psychologists is thus of interest to us. An upcoming example of this legislative priority will likely include proposed changes to mandatory reporting statutes. Psychologists benefit directly from statutory clarity around such issues.
Opposing infringement of mental health parity: Mental health parity affects psychologists, but more importantly impacts the patients we serve. We see access to mental health care as a human right and will always work to ensure citizens of our state benefit from having that right protected.
Social justice bills: Just as mental health parity is a matter of social justice, WSPA also champions bills that directly affect treatment and/or access to care. This often includes supporting expansion of services to underserved communities (e.g., agricultural workers), and protecting vulnerable populations in treatment (e.g., banning sexual orientation change efforts). This priority reflects WSPA’s commitment to a psychologically health Washington.