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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 27, 2016 11:12 AM
From: Representative Tina M. Davis and Rep. John T. Galloway
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation - Certified Recovery Residence Act
In an effort to ensure that recovery houses in the Commonwealth provide a safe environment for residents and their surrounding communities, I will be introducing legislation which will create the Certified Recovery Residence Act.

This proposal will establish the State Board of Recovery Residences within the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs. The Board will be charged with developing and administering a voluntary certification program and code of ethics for recovery residences, which are defined as peer-supported, alcohol-free, and drug-free living environments.

A residence applying for certification will be inspected and required to submit policies to the Board including, but not limited to, recovery, relapse, good neighbor, drug-testing, and safety. Recovery residences certified under this act will be monitored by the Board in order to maintain continuing compliance and certifications will expire one year after issuance.

A certified residence must be actively managed by a certified recovery residence administrator who holds a valid certificate of compliance with the Board. Administrators are subject to background screenings and may voluntarily earn and maintain certification to ensure that they have the competencies necessary to respond to the needs of residents and maintain residence standards.

This legislation prohibits licensed service providers from referring patients to residences that are not certified. It is my hope that this provision will encourage more recovery residences to seek certification and also ensure that service providers refer individuals to safe environments which properly promote recovery. Providers or agencies that violate this provision will not be eligible to receive state funding or grants.

In order to determine the number of recovery homes that are properly and effectively operating in the Commonwealth, the Board will maintain and publish a list of all certified recovery residences and administrators on the Department of State’s website. In addition, this information will help the public identify homes truly aimed at rehabilitation as opposed to flop houses.

While the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) currently authorizes single county authorities to enter into contracts with recovery homes and establishes requirements for houses funded with DDAP dollars, I strongly feel that more safeguards must be enacted to protect the recovery system and the community. Therefore, please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation which will increase the quality of opportunity, safety, and support for recovery residents and their neighbors.

Introduced as HB1884