Advocacy Update for Professional Counselors in Texas – Your help is needed!

The Texas Counseling Association provides leadership and advocacy for the counseling profession and supports optimal development and mental health for all


85TH Legislative Session – May 22, 2017


Last Push Will Get Us Past the Finish Line!

Your Calls Work! Help Keep TCA Priority Items Moving!


All TCA Members need to contact their State Representatives and State Senators.

Two key bills – SB 490 and SB 196 will be voted on by the entire House on Tuesday. Both bills are essential to support professional school counselors in Texas.

The Senate could vote on SB 80 to extend the licensing boards as early as today. Passage of SB 80 is essential to extend the life of our licensing boards without the need for a special session.

  • Message to State Senators:
    • Concur with the House version of SB 80 and extend the mental health licensing boards to 2021.
  • Message to State Representatives:
    • Vote FOR SB 490 (Huberty/Lucio) on Tuesday. SB 490 will add school counselors to the campus Texas Academic Performance Reports. No fiscal note. No staffing requirements.
    • Vote FOR SB 196 (Coleman/Garcia) on Tuesday. SB 196 will direct schools to post notices on their websites if they do not have a full-time school counselor, nurse or librarian. No fiscal note. No staffing requirements.

What Happened this Weekend

  • SB 80 was amended on the House floor by Chairman Four Price on Saturday to extend the sunset date for the licensing boards for licensed professional counselors, social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, psychologists and physicians until 2021. SB 80 is a broad bill that will require an array of state agencies to submit various reports. In addition to extending the sunset date for these boards, the floor amendment adds a requirement that these boards conduct a rule review to determine if any rule may implicate the federal antitrust law by limiting competition or impacting prices charged by licensees.
  • SB 490 and SB 196 were added to the Tuesday House Calendar by the House Calendars Committee, in response to your calls. Tuesday is the last day for Senate Bills to be passed on second reading by the House.
  • SB 2078 was amended on the House floor on Sunday to require schools to accommodate the right of each student who does not wish to use the facilities designated for use by persons of the student’s biological sex by providing single-sex facilities for use by those students. Enforcement is limited to the attorney general for mandamus and injunctive relief. It does not permit districts to disclose intimate details about a student. SB 2078 is a bill related to multi-hazard emergency plans and other school safety measures. The Senate is likely to concur with the House amendment.
  • HB 21 was amended on the Senate floor to, among other revisions, provide Education Savings Accounts (aka vouchers) for students with disabilities. The concern is that this amendment will further deplete resources for an already under-funded public school system. It is uncertain if the House will concur in the Senate amendment.

Go to to read complete bill texts. Contact TCA Executive Director, Jan Friese, with questions.

Thank you for all you do to support professional counselors, your students and your clients!