Testimony on SB 146:AAC The Legislative Commissioners’ Office’s Recommendation Regarding Revisions To The Public Health Statutes

Public Health Committee

February 26, 2020

Submitted By: Stephen Wanczyk-Karp, LMSW

On behalf of the National Association of Social Workers, CT Chapter representing over 2,400 members we ask the Public Health Committee to amend section 5. (2) of SB 146 by adding chapter 383b to the list of chapters that have two-year licenses.

There are only ten states in the country that do not renew a social work license every two years, and of these 10 states, three have tri-annual renewals. We see no justification for having an annual renewal of the Licensed Master Social Worker and the Licensed Clinical Social Worker license.

Connecticut is amongst the highest cost states for social wok licensing. While fees change periodically in other states, CT has consistently been the highest cost state or the second highest cost state, on an annual basis, when it comes to licensing of social workers. This has led to practitioners seeking employment in neighboring states where the fees are lower and the renewal schedule is every other year. For example, Massachusetts charges $173 to apply for the clinical license and $82 to renew the license biannually, compared to $315 to apply in CT and $195 to renew annually.

From the perspective of being a social work provider, CT is a very high cost state for a profession that is not a high paid one. Our state is a severe outlier in licensing fees. We also are a state that unnecessarily spends more to renew social work licenses than surrounding states by insisting on an annual renewal schedule.

We ask that the Public Health Committee add chapter 383b to the chapters in this bill that under SB 146 will now have a reasonable two-year license renewal schedule. By doing so, and keeping the current fees, it will bring the annualized cost of social work licensing down to typical costs in other states, it will reduce the workload at DPH and it will still provide proper protection to the public, the main purpose of initial licensing and license renewal.

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