Texas Register Preamble
The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council proposes amendments to §885.1, relating to Fees.
Overview and Explanation of the Proposed Rule. On October 8, 2019, Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to all Texas State agency heads instructing agencies to reform occupational-licensing rules in several areas. One such area the Governor focused on was the reduction of fees, specifically the Governor instructed agencies to develop and implement plans to reduce license applications fees to 75% or less of the national average for equivalent or comparable occupations, whenever possible. This proposed amendment is intended to do just that, all application and renewal licensing fees have either been reduced to 75% of the national average or if the fee was already below 75% of the national average then the fee stayed the same. The current fee schedule will remain in effect until September 1, 2023, on this date these new fee changes are scheduled to take effect. Applications fees are proposed to be reduced for the following license types: LCSW by $9.00, LPC and LPC-Associate by $56.00, LPA by $189.00, LP by $426.00, and LSSP by $36.00. Renewal fees are proposed to be reduced for the following license types: LBSW and LMSW by $33.00, LCSW and LMSW-AP by $55.00, and LP by $129.00. Additionally, the $4.00 Texas.gov fee is proposed to be removed from the temporary license application for social workers and the application for criminal history evaluation. The implementation of these proposed fee changes is scheduled to take effect on September 1, 2023, to provide all interested parties the opportunity to comment on these changes. Based upon future comments and information gathered these proposed fee changes may be subject to future proposed changes.
Fiscal Note. Darrel D. Spinks, Executive Director of the Executive Council, has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect, there will be no additional estimated cost, reduction in costs, or increase in revenue to the state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the rule. However, Mr. Spinks has determined that enforcing or administering the rule does have foreseeable implications relating to a loss of revenues to state government. For fiscal year 2021 the Executive Council generated $6,098,255.00 in application and renewal fees. It is estimated, using the number of licensees and applicants for fiscal year 2021, the Executive Council will generate $4,863,897.50 in application and renewal fees under this proposed rule change, which will result in a loss in revenue of $1,234,357.50 on an annual basis.
Public Benefit. Mr. Spinks has determined for the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect there will be a benefit to licensees and applicants because the proposed rule will provide a reduction in fees paid to the Executive Council for applications and renewals. Mr. Spinks has also determined that for each year of the first five years the rule is in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rule will be to help the Executive Council protect the public.
Probable Economic Costs. Mr. Spinks has determined for the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect, there will be no additional economic costs to persons required to comply with this rule.
Small Business, Micro-Business, and Rural Community Impact Statement. Mr. Spinks has determined for the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect, there will be no adverse effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Small and Micro-Businesses and Rural Communities. Mr. Spinks has determined that the proposed rule will have no adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities. Thus, the Executive Council is not required to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis pursuant to §2006.002 of the Tex. Gov't Code.
Local Employment Impact Statement. Mr. Spinks has determined that the proposed rule will have no impact on local employment or a local economy. Thus, the Executive Council is not required to prepare a local employment impact statement pursuant to §2001.022 of the Tex. Gov't Code.
Requirement for Rules Increasing Costs to Regulated Persons. The proposed rule does not impose any new or additional costs to regulated persons, state agencies, special districts, or local governments; therefore, pursuant to §2001.0045 of the Tex. Gov't Code, no repeal or amendment of another rule is required to offset any increased costs. Additionally, no repeal or amendment of another rule is required because the proposed rule is necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of this state and because regulatory costs imposed by the Executive Council on licensees is not expected to increase.
Government Growth Impact Statement. For the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect, the Executive Council estimates that the proposed rule will have no effect on government growth. The proposed rule does not create or eliminate a government program; it does not require the creation or elimination of employee positions; it does not require the increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to this agency; it does not require an increase in fees paid to the agency, but it will result in a decrease in fees paid to this agency for some license types; it does not create a new regulation; it does not expand an existing regulation; it does not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to the rule's applicability; and it does not positively affect the state's economy but it may have an adverse impact - as discussed previously the proposed rule change may result in a loss in revenue of $1,234,357.50 to the State on an annual basis.
Takings Impact Assessment. Mr. Spinks has determined that there are no private real property interests affected by the proposed rule. Thus, the Executive Council is not required to prepare a takings impact assessment pursuant to §2007.043 of the Tex. Gov't Code.
Request for Public Comments. Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted to Brenda Skiff, Executive Assistant, Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council, 1801 Congress Ave., Ste. 7-300, Austin, Texas 78701 or by email to email@example.com. The deadline for receipt of comments is 5:00 p.m., Central Time, on September 4, 2022, which is at least 30 days from the date of publication of this proposal in the Texas Register.
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