MADISON, WI… Sen. André Jacque’s (R-De Pere) initiative to increase access to mental health services is becoming law, as Gov. Evers today signed legislation designed to address a devastating shortage of mental health professionals across Wisconsin.

State Sen. André Jacque (R- De Pere), along with State Rep. Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc), co-authored the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT).  This bi-partisan legislation ratifies and enters Wisconsin into an agreement that will allow a psychologist to practice more easily in other compact states.

“Under current law, psychologists are hampered by a web of legal restrictions which diminish access to care for those in need,” Sen. Jacque said.  “This measure will modernize our laws and join our neighbors in prioritizing mental health resource accessibility for Wisconsinites.”

Sen. Jacque said this interstate compact allows for psychologists to practice either in person or other than in-person across state lines in other states which have enacted it.  Under prior law, access to care could be affected in many ways, including living in a rural area served by psychologists in another state, the need for a specialist who is not available in Wisconsin, or a temporary move out of state for medical treatment, a vacation, or to attend school.

“Currently 27 states have enacted the compact, including Illinois and Minnesota,” Sen. Jacque said.  “As more states do so, PSYPACT will become even more effective in alleviating mental health care shortages and improving access to mental health services.”

Sen. Jacque said the compact’s provisions include:

  • The creation of a Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact Commission, which includes one member or representative of the licensure boards of each member state.
  • The ability of member states to issue subpoenas that are enforceable in other states.
  • The creation of a coordinated database and reporting system containing licensure and disciplinary action information on psychologists to whom the compact is applicable.
  • Provisions regarding resolutions of disputes between the commission and member states and between member and nonmember states, including a process for termination of a state’s membership in the compact if the state defaults on its obligations under the compact.

Sen. Jacque said this legislation (Assembly Bill 537) was requested by the Department of Defense State Liaison Office and is supported by the Wisconsin Psychological Association and numerous health systems.

Senator André Jacque represents Northeast Wisconsin’s First Senate District, consisting of Door and Kewaunee Counties and portions of Brown, Calumet, Manitowoc, and Outagamie counties.

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