SB 1101, as introduced, Wieckowski.
Alcohol and drug counselors: regulation.
Existing law provides for the registration, certification, and licensure of various healing arts professionals. Existing law provides for various programs to eliminate alcohol and drug abuse, and states the finding of the Legislature that state government has an affirmative role in alleviating problems related to the inappropriate use of alcoholic beverages and other drug use. This bill, among other things, would prohibit any person from using the title licensed alcohol and drug counselor unless the person had applied for and obtained a license from the State Department of Public Health, and would specify the minimum qualifications for a license, including, but not limited to, educational qualifications, being currently credentialed as an advanced alcohol and drug counselor, and having submitted to a criminal background check. The bill would provide that a license for an alcohol and drug counselor would be valid for 2 years unless at any time during that period it is revoked or suspended, that the license would be authorized to be renewed prior to the expiration of the 2-year period, and that a licensee fulfill continuing education requirements prior to renewal. The bill would also require that the license fee for an original alcohol and drug counselor license and the license renewal fee be reasonably related to the department’s actual 99 costs in performing its duties under this part, but to not exceed $200. The bill would require the department to ensure that the state and federal level criminal history of the applicant is reviewed before issuing a license, and the department would be required, with exceptions, to deny, suspend, delay, or set aside a person’s license if, at the time of the department’s determination, the person has a criminal conviction or pending criminal charge relating to an offense, the circumstances of which substantially relate to actions as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor. This bill, effective July 1, 2017, would transfer the administrative and programmatic functions of the State Department of Health Care Services pertaining to alcohol and drug counselor certification and the approval and regulation of certifying organizations to the department. The bill would also require the State Department of Public Health to oversee the disciplinary actions of certifying organizations it approves, as provided.