Vermont would join interstate mental health compact under House-approved bill
Lawmakers in the Vermont House passed a bill Friday that would allow licensed mental health counselors in Vermont to apply to practice in other states and vice versa without the need for licenses from each state.
H. 62 proposes Vermont join the Interstate Counseling Compact. At least 17 states are already a part of it, including New Hampshire and Maine.
Lauren Layman, general counsel in the Vermont Secretary of State's Office of Professional Regulation, has been advocating for Vermont to join the agreement.
She says many groups will benefit, including patients.
"The counselors, themselves, will be benefited in that they’ll be able to move from state to state and follow up with their patients without incurring extra costs," Layman said. "And I think the state might be impacted in that we will have better access to mental health care resources.”
The state could take a financial hit if fewer counselors are paying to be licensed in Vermont. A note from the Joint Fiscal Office estimated if Vermont joins the compact, it could lose out on about $55,000 from the loss of licensing and application fees.
The bill now goes to the Senate for review.
This story is a collaboration between Vermont Public and the Community News Service. The Community News Service is a student-powered partnership between the University of Vermont’s Reporting & Documentary Storytelling program and community newspapers across Vermont.