SPRINGFIELD – To increase counseling resources for families, State Senator Javier Cervantes passed a measure through the Senate that would allow out-of-state marriage and family therapists to obtain licensure in Illinois more easily.

“I am constantly hearing from constituents about the need for therapeutic resources to be more widely available,” said Cervantes (D-Chicago). “This legislation would expand therapy options around the state and allow out-of-state counselors to bring their business and care to our residents without as much of a hassle.”

Senate Bill 3211 would allow the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to issue a license to a marriage and family therapist applicant has been licensed independently in another U.S. jurisdiction for at least 30 months during the last five years preceding the application. Applicants who meet this requirement would not have to submit proof of completion of education, professional experience, and supervision. An applicant would be required to submit certified verification of licensure from their previous jurisdiction.  

“The barrier to entry is too high for many licensed therapists in other states who want to expand their efforts into Illinois,” Cervantes said. “At a time when folks in our community need this care, this is the next step Illinois should take toward addressing the issues our residents are facing at home.”

Senate Bill 3211 passed the Senate Thursday and heads to the House for further action.