Texas Register Preamble
The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council adopts amendment §801.202, relating to LMFT Associate License. Section 801.202 is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the December 16, 2022, issue of the Texas Register (47 TexReg 8242) and will not be republished.
The adopted amendments change the LMFT Associate license to a five year non-renewable term, similar to the LPC Associate license structure.
List of interested groups or associations against the rule.
Summary of comments against the rule.
A commenter opined that the proposed rule change will not protect the public and would like data about the length of time applicants have remained an LMFT-Associate, whether there have been many who have exceeded the 72 month limit or 96 month extension limit.
List of interested groups or associations for the rule.
Summary of comments for the rule.
The agency declines to amend the rule as requested by the commenter. Since 2018 almost 80% of all LMFT-Associates have completed their supervised experience in under three years, and 98% have completed it in under four years. Since 2018 there has been little to no need for an LMFT-Associate to have their associate license beyond five years. Hypothetically, if in the future an LMFT-Associate does not complete the required supervised experience in under five years, then the associate can reapply for a new five year term LMFT-Associate license to complete the remaining required supervised experience. But based on the Executive Council's data this will most likely be a rare occurrence. This adopted rule amendment will decrease costs for LMFT-Associates, because they will no longer have to pay renewal fees, and it will streamline the application process for associates as well as agency staff. These adopted rule amendments are consistent with state policy, therefore the Executive Council adopts this rule without any changes.
The rule is adopted under Tex. Occ. Code, Title 3, Subtitle I, Chapter 507, which provides the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council with the authority to make all rules, not inconsistent with the Constitution and Laws of this State, which are reasonably necessary for the proper performance of its duties and regulations of proceedings before it.
Additionally, the Executive Council adopts this rule pursuant to the authority found in §507.152 of the Tex. Occ. Code which vests the Executive Council with the authority to adopt rules necessary to perform its duties and implement Chapter 507 of the Tex. Occ. Code.
In accordance with §502.1515 of the Tex. Occ. Code the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists previously voted and, by a majority, approved to propose the adoption this rule to the Executive Council. The rule is specifically authorized by §502.1515 of the Tex. Occ. Code which states the Board shall propose to the Executive Council rules regarding the qualifications necessary to obtain a license; the scope of practice, standards of care, and ethical practice; continuing education requirements for license holders; and a schedule of sanctions for violations of this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter.
The Executive Council also adopts this rule in compliance with §507.153 of the Tex. Occ. Code. The Executive Council may not propose and adopt a rule regarding the qualifications necessary to obtain a license; the scope of practice, standards of care, and ethical practice for a profession; continuing education requirements; or a schedule of sanctions unless the rule has been proposed by the applicable board for the profession. In this instance, the underlying board has proposed this rule to the Executive Council. Therefore, the Executive Council has complied with Chapters 502 and 507 of the Texas Occupations Code and may adopt this rule.
Lastly, the Executive Council also adopts this rule under the authority found in §2001.004 of the Tex. Gov't Code which requires state agencies to adopt rules of practice stating the nature and requirements of all available formal and informal procedures.
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