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Legislative Priorities

Vermont State House

What are the issues VPA is focusing on in the state and federal legislatures?

Pending Legislation

Page defining "law"

Look at pending legislation related to mental health care and mental health care professions.

Advocacy Activity


What is VPA doing to advocate for mental health care and mental health care professions?

VPA Advocacy News

Legislative Grant Awarded

The APA Services, Inc.'s Committee on State Leadership has awarded the Vermont Psychological Association a grant in the amount of $5,000 to assist with expenses related to our advocacy efforts related to RxP.  We are very excited about this opportunity and thankful to APA Services!

Prescriptive Authority

VPA is actively lobbying the Vermont legislature for passage of the pending legislation for prescriptive authority for doctorate-level psychologists.

Rick Barnett, VPA Legislative Committee Chair, is the president-elect of APA Division 55 (American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy) and will be lobbying in the 2020 session for passage of the current prescriptive authority bill.

APA Annual Conference

 Dr. Rick Barnett attended the annual conference of the American Psychological Association held in Chicago Aug 8-11. In his new role as President-Elect of APA Division 55, the American Society for the Advancement Of Pharmacotherapy (1 year term as President begins 1/1/20), Rick attended several meetings related to the leadership, membership and goals of Division 55 as well as educational workshops on pharmacotherapy. Two workshops stood out for Rick: one on Cannabis Use across the Lifespan and another on Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy with author and journalist Michael Pollan. Rick said the convention was very positive and enlivening. He will be one of several presenters on a webinar later in August on the prescriptive authority movement for psychologists.   


Pending Legislation


Electroconvulsive Therapy (H.25)

Mental Illness in Criminal Competency Proceedings & Commitments (H.144)

Transition from Corrections System into Mental Health Rehabilitation System (H.182)

Management and Prior Authorization Parity for Mental Health Treatment (H.169)

Learn More

You can search for legislation, find your local legislators, and discover the status of pending bills at the website for the Vermont General Assembly.

VPA Legislative Priorities

Prescriptive Authority for Psychologists-Doctorate

VPA supports and advocates for current legislation giving prescriptive authority for doctorate-level psychologists with advanced post-doctoral training in clinical psychopharmacology. 

You can find the text of the pending legislation in the Vermont House of Representatives here and the legislation in the Vermont Senate here.

VPA advocates for this legislation to increase access to qualified prescribers, increase the quality of care by placing medication prescription with the talk therapy provider, and reduce mental health care costs.

Rural Mental Health Care

VPA advocates for issues related to increased sustainability of, and access to, mental health care in the rural areas of Vermont.

Integrated Care

VPA supports and advocates for the establishment of more integrated care models.  "Integrated care" is the systematic coordination of  general and behavioral healthcare.  Integrating mental health, substance  abuse, and primary care services produces the best outcomes and proves  the most effective approach to caring for people with multiple  healthcare needs.  You can read more about integrated care at the SAMHSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions website.