OT Interstate Licensure Compact – Victory for OT in the Maryland General Assembly
The Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact (OT Compact) is an interstate compact, which is a constitutionally authorized contract between states. The OT Compact will allow licensed OTs and OTAs to practice in all states that join the compact. This compact will remove the hurdle of getting an individual license in each state where they want to practice. The broad goal is to eliminate barriers to OT practice and patient care by ensuring cooperation among state regulatory entities for those states that join the compact.
Please see otcompact.org where you may watch our Hot Topics webinar to learn more.
Thanks to the hard work of our lobbyists, Robyn Elliott and Rachael Faulkner, the testimony of Noelle Welch and Dorri Gowe-Lambert who stepped up to support the association, and your advocacy efforts, the Occupational Therapy Interstate Licensure Compact bill was passed in both chambers unanimously AND signed into law by Governor Hogan on April 13th!
We are the third state to join the compact. Ten states are required in order for the compact to truly take effect so please communicate with your friends and colleagues in other states to advocate for the compact. Here is a U.S. map that indicates which states have legislation in progress and those that have had the legislation signed into law.
To see how YOUR membership in MOTA and AOTA works for you, take a look at all the work that had to happen before this legislative success:
- AOTA and NBCOT contracted with the Council of State Governments to draft compact language that could be used by states based on their experience with other licensure compacts. YOUR membership dues supported all of these efforts that occurred over several years. Having this language reduced all the work needed by individual states to draft a bill that included all of the necessary pieces required for successful passage.
- MOTA’s lobbyists were influential in identifying that this year offered optimal opportunities for a compact bill to be passed based on their connections with the legislature and knowledge of pending legislation for the session. YOUR membership dues paid for this expert knowledge and advice.
- Robyn and Rachael were able to identify bill sponsors (Senator Carozza and Delegate Morgan) to move our bill forward in the Senate and the House. YOUR membership dues, again, paid for these connections and knowledge to coordinate meetings with the bill sponsors so that they could learn more about OT and the bill and the impact the bill would have for service provision, especially to areas like the Eastern Shore.
- To ensure that the bill would move successfully through both chambers, our lobbyists and your VP for Advocacy, located therapists in the districts of our bill sponsors and provided training to give an excellent testimony. YOUR membership dues provided the member directory that was used to locate therapists in those districts.
To celebrate our victory, MOTA is hosting a virtual gathering where we can toast our lobbyists and share in the excitement together on Wednesday, April 28 at 6:30 PM. All MOTA members are invited to attend! What a wonderful OT Month achievement! If you did not get the virtual event information via email, please email us at all4MOTA@gmail.com.
MOTA’s Legislative Platform
Maryland Occupational Therapy Association (MOTA) supports an integrative legislative approach that focuses on occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, occupational therapy students, health and occupational participation of consumers, and those systems that support services (e.g., hospitals, schools, community programs).
MOTA supports initiatives that:
- Promote quality occupational therapy through education and licensure.
- Address occupational therapy recruitment, retention, and diversity.
- Ensure and protect the rights of practitioners to provide quality care within their full scope of practice.
- Promote client/consumer safety, access to care, education, and self-determination.
- Advocate maintaining or expanding occupational therapy roles through legislation and targeted initiatives through the Maryland General Assembly.