HB 1415 Final Outcome
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Thank you for your advocacy this legislative session, especially during this last week of session. We had more members calling and emailing their senators than we’ve ever seen before, and it was certainly noticed. Despite the incredible volume of emails and calls over the past few days, Senate leadership did not bring our bill to vote.
As we mentioned yesterday, the legislature has been debating a pension bill that came down to the last few days of session, just like HB 1415. While our bill was unopposed and had strong constituent support, it was used as collateral to try and sway votes on the pension bill. While it is frustrating and sometimes discouraging to see politics play out in this way, there is so much for our association (including our members!) to be proud of from this session.
In the years that we have worked on practice protection, we have never gotten a bill to a single vote before. However, this year we made it completely through the House, through the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee in the Senate, and miraculously made it through second consideration in the Senate when EVERYONE in the Capitol said we had no chance. We have always had opposition from the psychiatrists, but we negotiated language and moved forward free of opposition. We have both committee Executive Directors ready to go on our bill next session, and that wasn’t something we walked in with this session. We have stronger relationships with many legislators, and we saw those relationships put to the test as many of them pushed their own leadership to move our bill as far as they could. We came a long way, and we’ll be in a better place than ever to start next session.
Thank you again for your hard work and commitment. You should be proud of the advancements we’ve made this session. We are confident that with the same level of advocacy we saw this week carried into next session, we will make practice protection and diagnosis rights realities for LCSWs in Pennsylvania. As a result, the entire profession of social work will be strengthened.
Tara Breitsprecher, LSW, NASW-PA Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy