July 9, 2024

This summary is organized as best as possible in the order of issue priority for MPA. Unless otherwise noted, legislation that is referenced below became law in Minn. Laws Chp. 127, which is linked here for your reference: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/laws/2024/0/Session+Law/Chapter/127/


It is often said at the Minnesota Capitol that no legislative session is the same as a previous one. That was certainly the case this year with one of the most bizarre endings of all time. With just a few hours remaining the night before mandatory constitutional adjournment at midnight, it looked like the supplemental spending bills would not pass, including the health licensing and human services bills. About 10:00pm, the House and Senate taxes conference committee met, and several non-germane bills were added to the tax bill. When the 1400-page “tax” bill was presented, the minority Republicans in the House and Senate reacted with anger. DFLers said it was the only way they could get things done in response to days and weeks of Republicans trying to filibuster the session to a close without any major legislation passing. Even numbered session years are typically bonding bill years, but due to partisan discord between the parties, a bonding bill came nowhere near passage.

 This year is an election year where all 134 seats in the House of Representatives will be on the ballot. The DFL currently holds a very slim majority in the House, and the GOP will be trying to take the majority coming into the 2025 budget session of the Legislature. Although the Senate is not up for election, the retirement of Sen. Kelly Morrison (two-time MPA legislator of the year), who has decided to run for Congress, will trigger a special election for her seat in November.

 Major Issues MPA Will Be Working On

1. Medical Debt

This law will not go into effective until October 1, 2024. The MPA Legislative Committee has been working with Rep. Liz Reyer to clarify that the new medical debt law will not force psychologists to treat patients who owe them money for services. Rep. Reyer was one of the authors of this legislation and she has stated that it was not the intent of the bill to force uncompensated treatment on professionals. The Board of Psychology is now aware of this new law and how it can potentially put psychologists in difficult positions. Below is how the law is currently written:

 Session Law Chp. 114, Sec. 27.


(a) A health care provider must not deny medically necessary health treatment or services to a patient or any member of the patient's family or household because of current or previous outstanding medical debt owed by the patient or any member of the patient's family or household to the health care provider, regardless of whether the health treatment or service may be available from another health care provider.

 (b) As a condition of providing medically necessary health treatment or services in the circumstances described in paragraph (a), a health care provider may require the patient to enroll in a payment plan for the outstanding medical debt owed to the health care provider. The payment plan must be reasonable and must take into account any information disclosed by the patient regarding the patient's ability to pay. Before entering into the payment plan, a health care provider must notify the patient that if the patient is unable to make all or part of the agreed-upon installment payments, the patient must communicate the patient's situation to the health care provider and must pay an amount the patient can afford.

 2. Expansion of the Scope of Practice for Physician Assistants  Art. 22. The physician assistants’ expansion of scope of practice into all areas of psychiatry was repealed. This included eliminating the ban on their practice on children and on patients with serious and complex mental health disorders. The MPA Legislative Committee led a massive effort, with the help of NAMI, Mental Health-MN, social workers and psychiatrists, to oppose this expansion. A dominating theme of this session was that there are massive health care workforce and access problems all over the state. Legislators opted to address these workforce and access issues by passing the law to expand PAs’ scope of practice, despite MPA concerns.

 3. Medical Aid in Dying  Art. 19

(MAID) legislation did not pass, despite receiving several hearings early in the legislative session in the House of Representatives. The proposed bill lost momentum after MPA raised concerns about under-qualified and untrained health care providers being allowed to do mental health assessments on patients seeking MAID. The Senate never had a hearing on MAID. MAID likely will return in 2025 if the DFL maintains control of the House. DFL Sens. Hoffman and Rest oppose the bill, so it may not have enough votes to pass in the Senate.

 4. Behavioral Analyst Licensure

The Legislature passed a law to license and regulate behavior analysts for the first time in Minnesota. After a tough, multi-year battle by MPA, we were able to change the bill to ensure that:

a) psychologists were not barred from doing behavior analysis as the original bill intended, and

b) the licensing and regulation of behavior analysts be brought under the Board of Psychology to further protect the public and ensure the quality of services provided.

 Other Noteworthy Items

1. Prior authorizations

a. Simplification language for prior authorization was included in the HHS omnibus bill. This new law will eliminate burdensome prior authorizations for many mental health and SUD patients. It requires an annual report to the Health Dept. on prior authorization use, including amount received, cases reversed upon appeal, and categories of treatments that were denied.

 b. The new PA law would ban health insurers from requiring PAs for emergency confinement or an emergency service, outpatient mental health treatment, or outpatient substance use disorder treatment.

 c. This law does not allow a health plan to deny or limit coverage retrospectively for services or treatment that do not require PAs before treatment. Health plans cannot deny or limit coverage for treatment or services a person receives if prior authorization was not obtained, but it would have been approved.

 2. Mental Health Reimbursement Rates Increase

a. A small increase was appropriated for mental health reimbursement rates at 83% of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule: $1.6 million for 2025, and $8.4 million for the 2026-2027 budget years.

 3. 988 Funding

a.Funding was set at 12 cents per month per phone line. This money will be used to expand and fund the 988 mental health crisis hotline.

 4. Sports gambling

a. MPA did not publicly take a position on the legalization of sports gambling. It did not pass the Legislature this session and has bi-partisan opposition, as well as bi-partisan support.

 5. PsyPact Court Examinations

a. New law lets psychologists under PSYPACT serve as court examiners. Chp 123, art. 12.

 6. Medicaid & MNCare Utilization Review Changes

a. This new law requires Medicaid and MNCare to follow the utilization review law. Written procedures PA and mental health denials must be reviewed by a psychiatrist or psychologist. Effective Jan. 2026. art. 55

 7. Excused Absences for Telehealth Services

a. A telehealth session is now an excused absence in public schools. Chp. 109, art. 8.

 8. School Social Workers Changes

a. School social workers were trimmed back by DHS/CMS a bit, agreeing with what MPA and others argued last session: Diagnostic Assessments as part of an IEP must done by a mental health professional or DHS/CMS will not pay for it. This new law clarifies that school SWs cannot do psychotherapy, care consultation, or DBT. Chp. 115, Art. 7.

 9. IRTS Dual Disorder Provider Changes

a. Removes requirement for staff present at weekly meetings. IRTS’ can now use a co-occurring disorder specialist instead of a licensed alcohol and drug counselor who is also trained in mental health.

 10. Office of Cannabis Management

a. The Office of Cannabis Management is being set up. Much of the details of business licensure, enforcement, regulation, dosages, packaging, warning labels, etc., will be made by this new agency.




April 25, 2023

April 2023 MPA Legislative Committee Update:
MPA Legislative Committee Chairs Steve Girardeau and Dennis Hannon have put together an update as to what has been happening with the Minnesota legislative session 2023.

  1. Provider Tax
    1. Multiple Voter Voice campaigns written by the LegCom this session have worked to raise grassroots awareness of this issue and how it affects small business/practice owners. 
    2. As a result of awareness growing, it has been introduced in both the House and the Senate in this session. 
    3. One senator has indicated he plans to schedule an informational hearing on this bill in his committee, which is a first for this issue. This will allow us to bring attention and awareness to the issue as well as our objectives for the bill. Given the sheer magnitude of this congress's agenda, this bill is paused until next session. 
    4. After the session is over, we are hoping to get a meeting with the health plans' lobbyist to discuss getting their support/cooperation on this bill. 
  1. Medicaid Rate Adjustment
    1. Again, multiple Voter Voice campaigns have built grassroots awareness of the issue, as well as legislators' awareness and understanding. 
    2. BIll was introduced in the Senate on 1/26, and was heard in the House HHS Finance Cmte on 3/9 in a hearing in which Steve testified.  It was also presented to the Senate HHS Finance Cmte on 3/22, a hearing in which Steve testified as well.
    3. The bill was scored with a huge fiscal note (~$26mil), but we believe that is an inaccurate number and will plan to ask legislators to push DHS to rescore the bill given the metrics we recommend.
    4. Once again, this has likely paused until next session due to the legislature's focus on other matters. 
  1. Conversion Therapy Ban
    1. Several Voter Voice campaigns written by the LegCom have built grassroots advocacy and alerted legislators to the importance of passing this bill
    2. Dr. Marge Charmoli testified earlier in the session on behalf of this bill and informed legislators of the psychological science pertaining to this bill.
    3. Passed the House on 2/20; Passed the Senate 4/21; Headed to the Governor's desk and will be signed in upcoming weeks
  1. Trans Youth Seeking Healthcare
    1. Dr. Marge Charmoli testified earlier in the session to provide legislators the psychological science behind trans rights and issues
    2. Passed in House on 3/23, passed in Senate on 4/21, will head to the Governor's desk and will be signed in upcoming weeks
  1. Cannabis Legalization
    1. Bill has passed out of all committees in the House and the House is voting today, 4/24, on the floor to legalize
    2. As of 4/19, bill in the Senate has been re-referred to Finance Cmte, will likely head to a floor vote this session.
    3. MPA Position Paper has been distributed at the Capitol, which voices concerns about specific details related to legalization
  1. Prescription Digital Therapeutics
    1. This bill didn't make it through the session deadline this year. Rep. Reyer approves of our amendment language to the bill (changing "prescription" to "order" to include psychologists), so we hope to build on that momentum in the next session. 
  1. Integrated Care
    1. This bill will pass, but not with our amendment language. Our lobbyist has shared that the psychiatrists are agreeable to our amendment language to include psychologists as "psychiatric consultants", so we likely won't have opposition to this in the future. We will need to work on this next session to get our amendment language passed .
  1. MA coverage for special ed school social work services
    1. We sent a letter from Sharon expressing our concerns about this bill, and Steve had a meeting with the Social Workers Organization to express our concerns. At the moment, momentum on this bill has slowed and we will need to be vigilant next session to work against efforts at getting this passed. 
  1. Physician Assisted Dying
    1. This will not go anywhere this session, but we won't be surprised to see it brought up next year again. We will be looking for volunteers to form a taskforce to research the psychological science behind physician-assisted dying so we can begin to formulate a position. Marge Charmoli is talking with several psychologists who are interested in this topic and have asked them to join the taskforce to research this topic. We are hoping to have a summary of the relevant research by later this year or next year to use to form a position and later present that position to EC/GC for review. 
  1. Peace Officers Seeking Disability & Appropriating Money
    1. Position paper written that states our concerns about lack of clarity in bill of who a mental health professional is, as well as how the bill asks psychologists to enter into a dual role as both evaluator of a disability claim and also clinician treating PTSD. Position paper sent from Sharon week of 4/17. 

February 24, 2022

MPA's First Annual Psych Week on the Hill Recap 

The Legislative Committee would like to thank all those who helped to make MPA's first annual Psych Week on the Hill a resounding success! Between February 21st to February 23rd, 12 MPA members and several leaders from MPA's Executive Committee, Governing Council, and Legislative Committee met with several legislators from four committees relevant to the practice of psychology in Minnesota.

Those four committees include the House Behavioral Health Policy Committee; the House Health Finance & Policy Committee; the Senate Health and Human Services Finance Committee; and the Senate Health & Human Services Reform Committee. Within these meetings, MPA members built relationships with, educated, and advocated to key policymakers about important issues like the Provider Tax bill (which would transfer the provider tax burden away from psychologists and onto payers), the Behavioral Analyst Licensure bill (which would allow Behavioral Analysts to become licensed under the Board of Psychology's jurisdiction and allow psychologists to provide supervision in behavioral analysis), and an effort to adjust Medical Assistance reimbursement rates.

Again, thank you to all the participants and organizers, your efforts help our profession and our communities!  For more information about Psych Week on the Hill or how to get involved in future advocacy efforts, please email the Legislative Committee's co-chairs Dennis Hannon, PsyD, LP ([email protected]) or Steve Girardeau, PsyD, LP ([email protected]).




December 14, 2021

Minnesota Psychological Association Awards Sen. Michelle Benson with 2021 Legislator of the Year Award Benson authored "PSYPACT" and led the bill through the Senate  

Minneapolis -- This month the Minnesota Psychological Association awarded Minnesota state Senate Michelle Benson with its Legislator of the Year award.  At a small gathering with her, MPA leadership and MPA Legislative Committee members presented the plaque honoring her with the award.  MPA honored Sen. Benson for her outstanding work as chief author of the interjurisdictional state-to-state psychology practice compact (PSYPACT).
"Senator Michelle Benson worked tirelessly to pass PSYPACT, despite many obstacles.  This vital new law will allow thousands of Minnesotans to access mental health care that otherwise they would not have, or would have had long. long waits for care," said MPA Legislative Committee Chair Trisha Stark, PH.D., L.P.   "Without her political savvy and incredibly hard work, PSYPACT would not have passed in the Legislature this year."

On final passage, PSYPACT passed the Senate unanimously, and was one of only 12 bills signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz during the 2021 Regular Session of the Legislature.  But to achieve that final result it took incredible work on her part, overcoming many challenges on the way to passage.  This new law will allow thousands of Minnesotans being treated by out-of-state psychologists under Gov. Walz' emergency orders to continue to receive care. 

December 14, 2021

Minnesota Psychological Association Awards Rep. Kelly Morrison with 2021 Legislator of the Year Award
Morrison authored "PSYPACT" and Telehealth Act bills through the House of Representatives


Minneapolis -- This month the Minnesota Psychological Association awarded Minnesota state Representative Kelly Morrison, MD with its Legislator of the Year award. At a small December 2nd gathering with her, MPA leadership and MPA Legislative Committee members presented the plaque honoring her with the award. MPA honored Rep. Morrison for her outstanding work as chief author of the interjurisdictional state-to-state psychology practice compact (PSYPACT) and as chief author of the bill that upgraded and greatly expanded the Minnesota Telehealth Act.

"Representative Kelly Morrison worked tirelessly to pass PSYPACT, despite many obstacles. This vital new law will allow thousands of Minnesotans to access mental health care that otherwise they would not have had access to care, or would have had long waits for care," said MPA President Jordan Robinson, Ph.D., L.P. "Simply put, without her tremendous effort on the PSYPACT and Telehealth bills they would not have passed in the 2021 session of the Legislature."

On final passage of the House floor PSYPACT passed unanimously, and was one of only 12 bills signed into law during the Regular Session of the Legislature in 2021. But to achieve that final result it took incredible work on her part, overcoming many challenges on the way to passage. Equally challenging was the legislation that dramatically expanded the scope of the Telehealth Act.
The need for both new laws became readily apparent during the pandemic. Emergency telehealth usage during the pandemic to meet the needs of Minnesotans in need of mental health care proved that telehealth is critical to mental health access.

August 9, 2021

Minnesota Admitted to PSYPACT

On August 6, 2021, Minnesota was voted into PSYPACT. PSYPACT is administered by the PSYPACT Commission and going to their website is the best way to get accurate information. You can find that website here.

A big thank you again to all who contributed to this important effort. If it were not for all of the grassroots advocacy by our members, this never would have happened.

June 30, 2021

2021 Minnesota Health and Human Services Bill Highlights

This is a brief summary of some the sections of the 2021 Minnesota Health and Human Services budget bill. For a more in-depth summary, please contact [email protected].

  • Loan forgiveness is expanded to include LADCs and mental health professionals providing 25% of their services to Minnesota public program enrollees or professionals providing a sliding fee schedule that meets guidelines. It includes an additional increase of $3 Million for 2022 and 2023 each. This is one time funding.
  • Telehealth
    • Medical Assistance—telehealth services are covered “in the same manner” as in person services. Services are paid at their full allowable rate.
      • Telehealth is covered for FQHCs, Rural Health Clinics, Indian Health Services, and CCBHCs and meet the face to face requirement.
      • Treatment plans can be signed through verbal approval or electronic means.
      • Coverage for telehealth is expanded to include the services of peer and family specialists, mental health rehabilitation workers, behavioral health aides, treatment coordinators, alcohol and drug counselors, and recovery peer specialists.
      • Mental health case management is covered for interactive video services. Targeted case management services can also be provided by interactive video, if it is in the best interest of the client.
      • Telehealth for video school linked mental health services and intermediate school districts is continued until 2023.
      • A study of impact of telehealth services is required including an assessment of payment parity and the impact of audio-only services.
      • Audio only services are covered for Medical Assistance until July 1, 2023.
      • Originating site is defined as "a site at which a patient is located at the time health care services are provided to the patient by means of telehealth."
      • Distant site is defined as “a site at which a health care provider is located while providing health care services or consultations by means of telehealth.”
    • Minnesota based health plans (does not include self-insured or ERISA plans which follow federal regulation)
      • A health plan sold, issued or renewed by a health carrier (insurer) in Minnesota must cover services in the same manner as in person services.
        • Coverage cannot be limited based on geography
        • Coverage must be based on the same provider network as for in person services
        • Carriers may not deny coverage for services on the basis of their provision through telehealth
        • A carrier must reimburse for telehealth at the same rate as in person services
        • Audio only services, when appropriate, must be covered at the same rate as in person services. Audio services must be based on a scheduled appointment, except for substance use disorder services which may be provided without an appointment in emergency situations. This coverage of audio-only services expires July 1, 2023.
  • Workforce
    • The following are added to the definition of mental health practitioner: individuals in the process of completing a practicum or internship as part of a formal undergraduate or graduate training program in social work, psychology, or counseling
    • Grants can be made to pay for supervision of clinical trainees who are Black, indigenous, or people of color.
    • Grants for school linked behavioral health services can include substance use disorder services and can be provided by mental health professionals in private practice.
    • A culturally informed and culturally responsive mental health task force is to be developed by June 1, 2022 with the charge to examine mechanisms for increasing recruiting and training of BIPOC individuals, training all providers in cultural competency and cultural humility, assessment of provider organizations in terms of cultural competency, and increasing ownership or management of provider organizations by BIPOC individuals. The makeup of the task force includes a member of the Board of Psychology, representatives from graduate training programs, mental health professionals representing communities of color or underrepresented communities.
    • A grant program is to be developed that will fund supervisor training
    • Effective July 1, 2023, mental health professionals must have 4 continuing education credits in “increasing the knowledge, understanding, self-awareness, and practice skills to competently address the psychological needs of individuals from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.”
    • The Board of Psychology must include two members residing outside the 7-county metro area, and two members representing communities of color or underrepresented communities.
  • Development of rate methodology for Medical Assistance behavioral health services: This was a priority for MPA as we had been informed that a rate increase for mental health services could not be considered until a new rate methodology is developed. By January 1, 2022, it is required that an RFP be issued for development of a rate methodology and a final report to the legislature must occur by January 15, 2024. Interested parties are required to be part of the process. Funds were appropriated to complete this study.

Just a reminder that PSYPACT passed the legislature and was signed into law in May. We now await the vote of the PSYPACT commission to include Minnesota.

June 22, 2021

MPA Board Member Joined White House Conversation
June 22: Congratulations to MPA's APA Council Representative, Robin McLeod, Ph.D., LP, on her discussion with Vivek Murthy, M.D., U.S. Surgeon General, Neetu Abad, Ph.D., psychologist at the CDC, Rufus Spann, Ph.D., school psychologist, Kelly Roberts, MFT, Suzzette Garcia, LPCC, and Bechara Choucair, M.D., White House vaccination coordinator, on the critical role psychologists and mental health professionals play in the COVID-19 vaccination efforts, particularly through addressing their patients’ questions and concerns about the vaccine. We are lucky to have Minnesota psychologists representing the field so well on a national platform. Thank you Dr. McLeod! Click here to watch the full recording of the conversation.



June 8, 2021

PSYPACT Signed Into Law by Governor Walz
On May 25, 2021 Governor Walz signed PSYPACT into law following unanimous votes for its support in the Minnesota House and Senate. PSYPACT is administered by the PSYPACT commission and going to their site is the best way to get accurate information. You can find that site here. If you want to know the details of the PSYPACT bill for Minnesota, you can review it here. Click here for some FAQs.

May 20, 2021

PSYPACT Passes. Thank you!

We are pleased to announce that on Monday, May 17, 2021, PSYPACT passed the Minnesota Senate and House with unanimous votes thanks to the tireless efforts of our government relations staff, Bill Amberg. Words alone are insufficient thanks for our authors, Senator Michelle Benson and Representative Kelly Morrison, MD. Last minute changes that are unlikely to affect Minnesota’s acceptance into the PSYPACT Commission were made late in the night and a conference committee report agreed upon by all so that the votes could take place. Governor Walz is expected to sign PSYPACT into law in the next few days.

Thanks to all who contributed to this important effort. If it were not for all of the grassroots advocacy by our members, this never would have happened. That you took the time to write to your legislators made all the difference in the world. Thanks also to MPA’s legislative committee who have put untold hours into this project. The Mental Health Legislative Network was an important source of support and advocacy in getting PSYPACT passed. A special thank you to Bruce Bobbitt, PhD LP for his steadfast support and meetings with key legislators. Thanks are due to the Board of Psychology who supported this endeavor and actively testified in support of the bill. We are also thankful for the support of the APA government relations and other staff who provided key advice. For funding to assist in this effort, many thanks to the APA Committee of State Leaders and to ASPPB. The staff of the PSYPACT commission, Janet Orwig and Doug Wolfberg, provided much needed technical assistance to get this accomplished. We look forward to getting you more information about how to access PSYCPACT in the coming days. 

May 10, 2021

MPA Speaks Out About Sexual Assault Laws

The Women’s Division spearheaded the effort to thank authors, Representative Moller and Senator Senjum, (HF707/SF1683), for their work in developing a comprehensive change to the sexual assault laws in Minnesota. Current law had kept individuals from reporting or seeking justice for an assault that followed their voluntary ingestion of alcohol or other drugs that led to impairment. Current law maintained that an individual could not be considered mentally incapacitated for purposes of establishing consent to sexual activity if they had voluntarily had alcohol or other drugs that caused the impairment. As a result, individuals who were not conscious when sexually assaulted could not maintain that they were unable to consent if they voluntarily used chemicals prior to the incident. This new bill remedies this situation such that individuals who are assaulted are better able to establish that they were incapacitated and thus unable to consent. Hopefully this change will make it possible for individuals who allege sexual assault to have their voices heard. Psychologists have long sat with victims who were denied justice and often re-traumatized as they were blamed or held responsible for an assault.

While efforts had been underway to reform the sexual assault laws for several years by Representative Marion O’Neil, the issue was brought to public attention following a decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court in a sexual assault case which led to the perpetrator being freed from prison awaiting a new trial. The victim had been unconscious at the time of the assault but unable to maintain that she was incapacitated and unable to consent because of the problems with how the language was structured in statute. The much needed changes may make it easier for victims to seek justice following an assault and avoid the added psychological damage from having their experiences invalidated.

April 26, 2021

Trisha Stark, Ph.D., LP, M.P.A., M.J. Stepping Down from MPA FAC and Legislative Committee Chair

It is with a great sadness that we announce that our beloved Trisha Stark has decided to resign her positions as MPA Federal Advocacy Coordinator (FAC) and Legislative Committee Chair. Dr. Stark will be stepping down from these roles at the end of 2021. Trisha has graciously given her time and expertise in serving MPA and the people of Minnesota over the years in a variety of additional roles including MPA President, Director of Professional Affairs, and Executive Director. Click here to continue reading.

March 2, 2021

MPA Bill Summary

Click here to look at the legislative bills that MPA has advocated for. 

Click here to view archived 2020 MPA Legislative Updates

Click here to view archived 2019 MPA Legislative Updates

Click here to view archived 2018 MPA Legislative Updates

Click here to view archived 2017 MPA Legislative Updates