Proposed Licensing Changes from the SD Board of Examiners for Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists 

The Board of Counselors legislation has been pre-filed with the legislature and assigned bill numbers.  The proposed changes to the professional counselors statutes are in Senate Bill 18 and the proposed changes to the marriage & family therapists statutes are in Senate Bill 19.

Below is a copy of each bill, a section by section summary of each bill and an overview document that provides the highlights of what the bills do.   Please note:  Based on the conversations with multiple stakeholders, these bills differ from the proposal considered by last year’s legislature.  In Senate Bill 18 and Senate Bill 19, the Board is proposing NO changes to the qualifications for licensure as a professional counselor, professional counselor-mental health or marriage & family therapist; NO changes to the scope of practice for any of these license categories; and NO grandfathering of an LPC license to an LPC-MH license.  The current qualifications for licensure and the two-tiered license system for professional counselors remains in place under the proposal.

The focus of the changes proposed in Senate Bills 18 and 19 is to reorganize the statutes in a way that makes it easier for applicants and current licensees to understand the qualifications for licensure and the expectations of licensure; make license renewal biennial to reduce the administrative burden on licensees and third-party credentialing; provide an opportunity for a licensee to inactivate a license or reactivate an expired license by meeting certain requirements; and provide a temporary license for someone licensed in another state who has not yet met the requirements for licensure in South Dakota.

Links to each bill are below so you can follow the action on each bill as they go through the hearing and floor process 

Senate Bill 18  Professional Counselors

Senate Bill 19  Marriage and Family Therapists

The Board appreciates your support of the legislation.  Please feel free to share this information with your membership or any other interested stakeholders you may be aware of.  If you have any questions or get any questions from your group that I can help with, please let me know.  I can always be reached on my cell at 605-280-5714.

Thank you.

Jennifer Stalley


SB 18 Counselor Bill Section by Section Summary.pdf

SB 19.pdf

SB 19 MFT Bill Section by Section Summary.pdf

2020 Legislation Bill Summary.pdf