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06/21/2024 05:19 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 6, 2022 10:42 AM
From: Representative Thomas L. Mehaffie, III and Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver
To: All House members
Subject: Professional Licensing for Behavior Analysts
In the near future, I will be re-introducing former HB 19, legislation to create a professional license for behavior analysts and assistant behavior analysts in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvanians are struggling with many chronic conditions such as addiction, problems related to aging, PTSD and depression, eating disorders, and neurodevelopmental problems such as autism, intellectual disability, Down Syndrome and ADHD.  Care for these individuals is very intensive and costly.  Emotionally, these conditions take a huge toll on the entire family.  Cost of healthcare is rising and access to mental health services is alarmingly difficult.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a type of therapy that focuses on improving specific behaviors, such as social skills, communication, reading, and academics as well as adaptive learning skills.  A behavior analyst is an expert on the science of behavior and how it is applied to problems of individual and social significance.  A behavior analyst’s goal is to help solve behavior-related issues by using ABA. 

Pennsylvania does not currently recognize or license behavior analysts under any state licensing board, and current law does not provide for any title or practice protection for these professionals. My legislation will change this. 

It is long overdue for Pennsylvania to recognize this helping profession and those behavior analysts who are nationally board-certified in a way that protects the public.  In our current state, there are shortages of qualified providers and there are individuals that claim to be using ABA when in fact they are not certified to do so.  Further, Pennsylvania is currently an exporter of talented graduates who are educated here in our universities but seek employment in the other 30 states where the profession is licensed.

Let’s do the right thing and keep these talented professionals here in Pennsylvania, helping our constituents gain access to life changing treatment so they can lead a quality life and give back to the society that helped them succeed.

Please consider joining in co-sponsorship of this needed legislation.

Introduced as HB19