Oklahoma Board of Behavioral Health Now Considering Rule Changes
On Friday February 11th, the Oklahoma Board of Behavioral Health conducted its regularly scheduled board meeting. Along with waiving the face-to-face continuing education requirements for LPC and LMFT clinicians, the board also created a committee to consider potential board rule changes.
According to the Board of Behavioral Health Enabling Statute, proposed rule changes must be adopted by the Board and submitted to the Governor for approval. According to the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act, any Oklahoma administrative office that aims to make a rule change must allow at least 30 days for oral or written comments, arguments, or views to be shared by vested parties before the final adoption of a rule.
In last Friday’s meeting, the Board appointed three members to serve on the rule making committee: Dr. Johnie Fredman, Dr. Canaan Crane, and Kimberly Cox. The board tasked these members with gathering information and collecting comments on proposed changes to the Board rules to be presented at the next meeting in April. Until then, clinicians and any other vested parties may contact the Board of Behavioral Health to suggest rule changes and comment on existing regulations.
In the meeting, Eric Ashmore discussed a potential rule change time line with the members. Mr. Ashmore stated that any rule changes adopted by the Board in the April meeting can be expected to be sent to Governor Stitt for approval in May. According to the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act, the governor has 45 days to review and approve proposed rules. Mr. Ashmore stated that any rule approved by the governor in Summer of 2022 would likely not go into effect until 2023 or 2024.
In 2020 Governor Stitt issued an executive order which mandated that for every new regulation put into place, two regulations must be eliminated. This will mean that for every new rule the Board of Behavioral Health adopts and sends to the office of the Governor for approval, the Board will be required to submit two board rules to be repealed. To recommend rules to be added, modified, or removed, contact the Oklahoma State Board of Behavioral Health before the April 8th Board meeting.