HB 975 – Background Screenings & Certifications 

This measure would provide employment opportunities as peer support specialists by granting exemptions from level 2 background checks for individuals with lived experience of homelessness who have a non-violent criminal record (regardless of the time elapsed) and have not been arrested in the past three years.

This aims to increase support services for individuals currently experiencing homelessness. It also expands certain background screening requirements to apply to all health care practitioners; revises licensure, registration, or certification requirements for acupuncturists; optometrists; pharmacists; dentists; midwives; speech-language pathologists & audiologists; nursing home administrators; occupational therapists; respiratory therapists; dietitian/nutritionists; practitioners of orthotics, prosthetics, or pedorthics; electrologists; clinical laboratory personnel; medical physicists; genetic counselors; opticians; physical therapists; psychologists & school psychologists; clinical social workers, marriage & family therapists, & mental health counselors.

For Fiscal Year 2024-2025, the bill allocates $250,000 in non-recurring funds from the Medical Quality Assurance Trust Fund to DOH. The impact on DCF from the provisions related to homeless service providers is expected to be insignificant and manageable within existing resources.

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