Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB4676
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Full Text of HB4676  102nd General Assembly

HB4676 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  

 


 
102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2021 and 2022
HB4676

 

Introduced 1/21/2022, by Rep. Deb Conroy

 

SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
 
New Act

    Creates the Second Chance State Behavioral Health Workforce Development Act. Contains findings. Provides that each institution of higher education shall annually allow for the admission of at least one returning resident (a person who is a resident of and domiciled in Illinois, has graduated from high school or the equivalent, has been convicted of a felony by a specified court, was sentenced to incarceration pursuant to that conviction, and is no longer incarcerated) in an undergraduate or graduate academic program that will lead to the qualification of the returning resident as a behavioral health care professional. Provides that the returning resident shall not be required to pay any tuition, fee, or other charge for any class the returning resident takes if the State appropriates funds for reimbursement. Provides that the Illinois Student Assistance Commission shall contract with community-based organizations and legal service providers to provide specified services to returning residents. Provides that certain criminal convictions and dispositions are not cause for a licensing agency to deny an individual a license, permission, or authorization to be a behavioral health care professional. Provides that a licensing agency shall consider specified mitigating factors when considering an application for a license, permission, or other authorization to be a behavioral health care professional. Provides that, if a licensing agency refuses to issue a license, permission, or other authorization to perform a behavioral health care profession based upon a conviction, the licensing agency shall notify the individual of the denial with specified information included in the notice of denial. Provides that neither the Commission nor a community-based organization providing services under the Act shall enter into a contractual or other financial, service, or volunteer relationship with and shall not pay any money or provide any other form of consideration to specified persons or entities. Provides that institutions of higher education shall strictly comply with the Act and the Commission shall take actions necessary to obtain compliance and enforce the Act. Contains provisions concerning judicial proceedings, certifications, adoption of rules, notices, conflicts, severability, and other matters. Effective immediately.


LRB102 23708 CMG 32894 b

 

 

A BILL FOR

 

HB4676LRB102 23708 CMG 32894 b

1    AN ACT concerning regulation.
 
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
 
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Second
5Chance State Behavioral Health Workforce Development Act.
 
6    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds that:
7    (1) The insufficient number of behavioral health
8professionals in Illinois' behavioral health workforce has
9created a public health crisis.
10    (2) A University of Southern California study estimates
11that this shortage increased by approximately 201% between
122017 and 2018, alone. As a result, about 38% or nearly 4.9
13million Illinoisans reside in behavioral health workforce
14shortage areas.
15    (3) Justice-involved individuals are among the populations
16in Illinois who are most severely impacted by this shortage.
17According to the University of Southern California study,
18people living with mental illness are more likely to encounter
19the criminal justice system, resulting in a large number of
20arrests and incarcerations and recidivism. The overall cost of
21incarceration of more than 8,000 prisoners with serious mental
22illness in the State of Illinois exceeds $190 million per
23year. It costs Illinois over $151,000 each time one of those

 

 

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1individuals recidivates.
2    (4) Studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of
3allowing persons with similarly lived experiences to provide
4behavioral health services to this population.
5    (5) To end the behavioral health workforce shortage that
6affects Illinois as a whole and the justice-involved
7population in particular, it is therefore in this State's best
8interest to provide pathways for those with lived carceral
9experience to gain the training and credentials they need to
10provide behavioral health services.
 
11    Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
12    "Behavioral health care profession" means a profession
13involving the provision of behavioral health care including,
14without limitation, qualified mental health professionals,
15certified alcohol and drug counselors, peer support
16specialists, clinical psychologists, licensed clinical social
17workers, licensed social workers, marriage and family
18therapists, professional counselors, clinical professional
19counselors, and sex offender treatment providers.
20    "Behavioral health care professional" means a person
21engaged in a behavioral health care profession.
22    "Commission" means the Illinois Student Assistance
23Commission.
24    "Community-based organization" means a private, non-profit
25entity that has established and demonstrable experience

 

 

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1providing behavioral health care and other services to
2Illinois' returning resident community and an understanding of
3the issues affecting those returning residents, which is
4evidenced by (1) the provision of behavioral health and other
5services to returning residents in Illinois for at least 5
6years; (2) experience providing returning residents with
7assistance regarding issues necessary for those returning
8residents' success in life, including, without limitation, job
9preparation training, skills training, job placement, housing,
10financial and digital literacy and physical and behavioral
11health; (3) experience providing educational programming to
12returning residents; (4) experience providing that assistance
13on a comprehensive, coordinated, and holistic basis; (5)
14having established relationships with other community-based
15service providers that serve returning residents' needs; (6) a
16history of employing returning residents; and (7) leadership
17that reflects the diversity of the community in which the
18organization operates.
19    "Degree granting institution" shall have the meaning set
20forth in Section 2 of the Academic Degree Act.
21    "For-profit correctional entity" means a person or entity
22that directly, indirectly, or beneficially operates a
23correctional or detention facility for profit.
24    "Institution of higher education" means any publicly or
25privately operated university, college, community college,
26business, technical, or vocational school, or other

 

 

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1educational institution offering degrees or instruction beyond
2the secondary school level, including, without limitation, a
3degree granting institution, post-secondary educational
4institution, public institution of higher education, or any
5institution that operates pursuant to authority provided to it
6by the Board of Higher Education or the Board of Higher
7Education Act.
8    "Licensing agency" means the State or any agency or other
9political subdivision of the State that is authorized to grant
10a license, permission, or other authorization for an
11individual to be a behavioral health care professional,
12including, without limitation, individuals providing services
13as qualified mental health professionals, certified alcohol
14and drug counselors, peer support specialists, clinical
15psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed
16social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional
17counselors, clinical professional counselors, and sex offender
18treatment providers.
19    "Post-secondary educational institution" has the meaning
20set forth in Section 1 of the Private College Act.
21    "Public institutions of higher education" has the meaning
22set forth in Section 1 of the Board of Higher Education Act.
23    "Returning resident" means a person who: (1) is a resident
24of and domiciled in Illinois; (2) has graduated from high
25school or the equivalent; (3) has been convicted of a felony or
26similar crime by any state or federal court sitting in the

 

 

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1United States, any territory thereof, the District of
2Columbia, or any United States military tribunal; (4) was
3sentenced to incarceration pursuant to that conviction; and
4(5) is no longer incarcerated.
 
5    Section 15. Administration of Act. The Commission shall
6administer all programs, services, and all other provisions of
7Sections 20 and 25, provide administrative support for the
8implementation of those Sections, and is authorized to adopt
9rules necessary to implement those Sections.
 
10    Section 20. Returning resident enrollment rights.
11    (a) Each institution of higher education shall annually
12allow for the admission of at least one returning resident in
13an academic program that is intended to culminate in the
14granting of undergraduate and graduate degrees by that
15institution of higher education that will satisfy academic
16prerequisites and lead to the qualification of the returning
17resident to be a behavioral health care professional.
18    (b) If the institution of higher education requires
19students to have completed an entrance examination as a
20precondition to admission to the program in which the
21returning resident seeks admission, the returning resident
22shall be admitted to that program if the returning resident's
23score on such examination is at least equivalent to the lowest
24score achieved by a person who was admitted in the previous

 

 

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1year to the same program at the institution of higher
2education to which the returning resident seeks admission.
3    (c) The returning resident shall not be subject to any
4residency requirements otherwise applicable to enrollment in a
5class at the institution of higher education; however, the
6returning resident shall be a resident of and domiciled in
7Illinois.
8    (d) Except as provided herein, the returning resident
9shall be subject to all other academic requirements that apply
10to other students in the academic program in which the
11returning resident is enrolled.
12    (e) The returning resident shall not be required to pay
13any tuition, fee, or other charge for any class the returning
14resident takes pursuant to this Act if the State appropriates
15funds to reimburse the institution of higher education for the
16tuition, fees, or other charges that the returning resident
17would have otherwise paid to the institution for higher
18education.
19    (f) The returning resident shall complete the screening
20process set forth in Section 25 and shall not have the status
21of being unconditionally disqualified from obtaining the
22license, permission, or other authorization the returning
23resident would require in order to engage in the specific
24behavioral health care profession for which the returning
25resident seeks training pursuant to this Act.
 

 

 

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1    Section 25. Returning resident pre-enrollment screening
2and services.
3    (a) Subject to appropriation, the Commission shall:
4        (1) contract with one or more community-based
5    organizations to: (A) screen each returning resident who
6    seeks enrollment in an institution of higher education
7    pursuant to this Act to determine and advise the returning
8    resident of the statutory disqualifications or conditions
9    that apply to the returning resident's ability to obtain a
10    license, permission, or other authorization from a State
11    agency that the returning resident would require in order
12    to engage in the specific behavioral health care
13    profession for which the returning resident seeks training
14    pursuant to this Act; and (B) provide courses and other
15    training necessary to prepare returning residents for
16    entrance examinations and other matters required for
17    admission to institutions of higher education pursuant to
18    this Act; and
19        (2) contract with one or more legal service providers
20    to provide legal services to returning residents that are
21    needed to fulfill the statutory conditions that apply to
22    the returning resident's ability to obtain a license,
23    permission, or other authorization that the returning
24    resident would require in order to engage in the specific
25    behavioral health care profession for which the returning
26    resident seeks training pursuant to this Act, including,

 

 

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1    without limitation, sealing-related, expungement-related,
2    and clemency-related proceedings.
3    (b) Within 6 months of the effective date of this Act, the
4Commission shall publish notice of proposed rules in the
5Illinois Register that set forth procedures for the screening
6of returning residents for admission to institutions of higher
7education pursuant to this Act.
 
8    Section 30. Returning resident licensure.
9    (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law:
10        (1) A non-conviction disposition of a criminal
11    proceeding against an individual shall not be cause for a
12    licensing agency to deny that individual a license or any
13    other permission or authorization legally required to be a
14    behavioral health care professional.
15        (2) A misdemeanor conviction shall not be cause for a
16    licensing agency to deny that individual a license or any
17    other permission or authorization legally required to be a
18    behavioral health care professional, regardless of the
19    sentence imposed pursuant to that conviction.
20        (3) A conviction that is unrelated to the specific
21    behavioral health care profession in which the convicted
22    individual seeks to engage shall not be cause for a
23    licensing agency to deny that individual a license or any
24    other permission or authorization legally required to
25    engage in that behavioral health care profession. Without

 

 

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1    limiting the foregoing, convictions for (i) drug related
2    offenses; (ii) offenses involving dishonesty or fraud;
3    (iv) violation of any provision of the Illinois Vehicle
4    Code; (v) second degree murder; (vi) involuntary
5    manslaughter; (vii) reckless homicide; (viii) drug induced
6    homicide; or (xi) any other offense that did not involve
7    the actual use of physical force, except, promoting
8    juvenile prostitution, patronizing a minor engaged in
9    prostitution, grooming, traveling to meet a child,
10    terrorism, or treason, shall be construed to be unrelated
11    to any behavioral health care profession.
12    (b) When a licensing agency is considering an application
13for a license, permission, or other authorization to be a
14behavioral health care professional by an individual who has
15been convicted of an offense that is related to the specific
16behavioral health care profession in which the convicted
17individual seeks to engage, the licensing agency shall
18consider the following mitigating factors in connection with
19the individual's conviction:
20        (1) the bearing, if any, the criminal offense or
21    offenses for which the individual was previously convicted
22    will have on the individual's fitness or ability to
23    perform one or more such duties and responsibilities of
24    the specific behavioral health care profession in which
25    the individual wishes to engage;
26        (2) the time that has elapsed since the criminal

 

 

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1    conviction;
2        (3) the age of the individual at the time of the
3    criminal conviction;
4        (4) if the individual was previously licensed or
5    employed in this State or other states or jurisdictions,
6    the lack of prior misconduct arising from or related to
7    the licensed position or position of employment;
8        (5) successful completion of sentence and, for
9    individuals serving a term of parole, probation, or
10    mandatory supervised release, a progress report provided
11    by the applicant's probation or parole officer that
12    documents the individual's compliance with conditions of
13    supervision;
14        (6) evidence of the applicant's present fitness and
15    professional character;
16        (7) evidence of rehabilitation or rehabilitative
17    effort during or after incarceration, or during or after a
18    term of supervision, including, but not limited to, a
19    certificate of good conduct under Section 5-5.5-25 of the
20    Unified Code of Corrections or a certificate of relief
21    from disabilities under Section 5-5.5-10 of the Unified
22    Code of Corrections;
23        (8) the financial and other impacts that failure to
24    grant the license, permission, or other authorization will
25    have on the individual; and
26        (9) any other mitigating factors that contribute to

 

 

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1    the individual's potential and current ability to perform
2    the duties of the behavioral health care profession in
3    which the individual wishes to engage.
4    (c) If a licensing agency refuses to issue a license,
5permission, or other authorization for an individual to
6perform a behavioral health care profession based upon a
7conviction or convictions, in whole or in part, the licensing
8agency shall notify the individual of the denial in writing
9with the following included in the notice of denial:
10        (1) a detailed explanation of all reasons for the
11    refusal to grant the license, permission, or other
12    authorization, including, without limitation, the factual
13    and legal basis for the refusal;
14        (2) a list of convictions that a licensing agency
15    determined will impair the individual's ability to engage
16    in the position for which a license, permission, or other
17    authorization is required;
18        (3) a list of convictions that formed the sole or
19    partial basis for the refusal to issue a license,
20    permission, or other authorization; and
21        (4) a summary of the appeal process or the earliest
22    the individual may reapply for a license, permission, or
23    other authorization, whichever is applicable.
24    (d) Each licensing agency that has not promulgated rules
25providing an individual who has been denied a license,
26permission, or other authorization to be a behavioral health

 

 

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1care professional due to a conviction with a means of
2appealing that denial, shall publish notice of proposed rules
3in the Illinois Register within 6 months of the effective date
4of this Act.
 
5    Section 35. Prohibition on relationships with for-profit
6correctional entities.
7    (a) Neither the Commission nor any community-based
8organization providing services pursuant to this Act shall
9enter into a contractual or other financial, service, or
10volunteer relationship with and shall not pay any money or
11provide any other form of consideration to:
12        (1) a for-profit correctional entity;
13        (2) a person or entity that directly, indirectly, or
14    beneficially, in the person's or entity's own name or in
15    the name of a nominee, has an ownership interest in or
16    other form of control over more than 7 1/2% of a for-profit
17    correctional entity;
18        (3) an entity where a person or entity described in
19    paragraph (1) or (2) directly, indirectly, or
20    beneficially, in the person's or entity's own name or in
21    the name of a nominee, has an ownership interest in or
22    other form of control over more than 7 1/2%;
23        (4) an entity where a person described in paragraph
24    (2) is an officer, director, trustee, administrator, or
25    employee;

 

 

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1        (5) a person who is or has been an officer, director,
2    trustee, administrator, or employee of a for-profit
3    correctional entity;
4        (6) an entity where a person described in paragraph
5    (5) is an officer, director, trustee, administrator, or
6    employee;
7        (7) an entity in which a for-profit correctional
8    entity, directly, indirectly, or beneficially, in its own
9    name or in the name of a nominee, has an ownership interest
10    in or other form of control over more than 7 1/2%;
11        (8) a non-profit entity that was or is organized by,
12    operated by, funded in part by, or has an officer,
13    director, trustee, administrator, or employee any person
14    or entity described in paragraphs (1) through (7).
15    (b) A community-based organization providing services
16pursuant to this Act shall not assign or otherwise transfer
17any of its powers, duties, or obligations that are set forth in
18this Act or any agreement it enters pursuant to this Act to any
19person or entity described in subsection (a). The Commission,
20any officer, director, administrator, or employee of the
21Commission, a community-based organization providing services
22pursuant to this Act or any officer, director, trustee,
23administrator, or employee of such community-based
24organization shall not refer a returning resident for any
25service whatsoever to a person or entity described in
26paragraphs (1) through (7) of subsection (a).

 

 

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1    (c) Each party to any contract, agreement, memorandum of
2understanding, or similar instrument with the Commission or a
3community-based organization providing services pursuant to
4this Act shall certify in writing that under penalty of
5perjury, the party has performed due diligence to determine
6whether the party complies with this Section and, after
7performing the due diligence, has determined that the party
8complies with this Section.
9    (d) Each employee of the Commission and each
10community-based organization providing services pursuant to
11this Act shall certify in writing that the employee or
12organization has performed due diligence to determine whether
13the employee or organization complies with this Section and,
14after performing the due diligence, has determined that the
15employee or organization complies with this Section.
 
16    Section 40. Enforcement. Institutions of higher education
17shall strictly comply with the provisions of this Act. The
18Commission is authorized, directed, and required to take all
19actions necessary to obtain such compliance and otherwise
20enforce the provisions of this Act. Notwithstanding and in
21addition to any other requirement of this Act or any other
22provision of law:
23        (1) The provisions of this Act may be enforced
24    pursuant to judicial proceedings against an alleged
25    violator that seek to require the violator to cease and

 

 

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1    desist from violating this Act, allow one or more
2    returning residents to be admitted to an institution of
3    higher education or enroll in the class or classes they
4    are entitled to enroll in pursuant to this Act, and pay any
5    damages suffered by one or more returning residents for
6    violation of this Act.
7        (2) A returning resident shall have a private right of
8    action to enforce the provisions of this Act by personally
9    bringing an action pursuant to paragraph (1). Any
10    institution of higher education that is found liable for
11    violation of this Act pursuant to this subsection shall,
12    in addition to other damages, be liable to pay all
13    reasonable attorney's fees, costs, and expenses incurred
14    by the returning resident and that pertain to the
15    returning resident's actions to enforce the returning
16    resident's rights against that institution of higher
17    education pursuant to this Act.
18        (3) Venue for any action brought pursuant to this
19    Section shall be in the county where the returning
20    resident who is the subject of the action is domiciled.
 
21    Section 45. Provisions of Act mandatory; conflicts.
22Subject only to appropriation, the provisions of this Act are
23mandatory and shall not be considered to be directory or
24discretionary. In the event of a conflict between the
25provisions of this Act and the provisions of the Higher

 

 

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1Education Student Assistance Act, the provisions of this Act
2shall prevail.
 
3    Section 97. Severability. The provisions of this Act are
4severable under Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.
 
5    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
6becoming law.