Section 34-5A-3

Composition of board; compensation; meetings; rules and fees; investigations; Alabama Behavior Analyst Licensing Board Fund.

(a) The Alabama Behavior Analyst Licensing Board is established within the Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities. The board shall consist of seven members, including four licensed behavior analysts, one licensed psychologist in the state, one parent or legal guardian of a person being treated for a behavior disorder, or a person who has received services from a licensed behavior analyst, and one public member, who, except for the initial members, shall be appointed by the Governor, as provided in subsection (b). The membership of the board shall be inclusive and reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban/rural, and economic diversity of the state. Each member shall serve a three-year term, with initial terms being staggered so that one member serves an initial term of one year, three members serve initial terms of two years, and three members serve initial terms of three years, as provided by the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health. The public member shall be a person who is not and never was a member of any profession licensed or regulated under this chapter, or the spouse of such person, and a person who does not have and never has had a material interest in the practice of behavior analysis.

(b) The initial members of the board shall be board certified behavior analysts, as recognized by the certifying entity, and shall each become licensed as a behavior analyst or assistant behavior analyst, pursuant to this chapter, during his or her initial term serving on the board. These initial board members shall be appointed by the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health upon recommendations submitted by the Alabama Association for Behavior Analysis, the Alabama Interagency Autism Coordinating Council, the Department of Mental Health, and any other group determined appropriate by the commissioner. Subsequent appointments shall be appointed by the Governor upon recommendations submitted by the board.

(c) Any vacancy occurring other than by expiration of terms shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by appointment by the Governor, upon recommendation of the board.

(d) No member shall serve more than two successive three-year terms.

(e) A member shall serve until a successor is appointed and assumes office.

(f) Members shall be paid out of the funds of the board the same per diem as prescribed by law for state employees for each day of attendance of board business.

(g) The board shall meet at least twice annually and may meet at such other times as necessary, at the call of the chair or by a majority of the members, to complete the business required.

(h) The board shall promulgate and enforce rules and establish fees necessary to implement this chapter.

(i) The board shall investigate all complaints relating to the practice of behavior analysis by any licensed behavior analyst, licensed assistant behavior analyst, or any person alleged to be practicing or providing supervision without a state license.

(1) The board may fine, censure, revoke, or deny a license, place on probation, reprimand, or otherwise discipline a licensee on any of the following grounds:

a. Conviction of a crime which the board determines to be of a nature as to render the person convicted unfit to practice as a behavior analyst.

b. Violation of the professional and ethical compliance code or the rules of the board.

c. Fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining a license.

(2) The board may summarily suspend the license of a licensee who the board determines poses an imminent danger to the public. A hearing shall be held within 10 days after the suspension to determine whether the summary action was warranted.

(3) No license may be denied, suspended, or revoked or a person otherwise disciplined without prior notice and opportunity for hearing, except that the board, without prior notice of hearing, may take action against any person convicted of a crime listed in paragraph a. of subdivision (1). No license may be denied, suspended, or revoked or a person otherwise disciplined pursuant to this section except by vote of a majority of the membership of the board.

(4) Any person may file a complaint with the board seeking the denial, suspension, or revocation of a license issued or pending issuance by the board, or seeking to otherwise discipline a person for any violation of this chapter or rules adopted by the board. Complaints shall be in a form prescribed by the board. If the board determines that a complaint alleges facts which, if true, would require disciplinary action or denial, revocation, or suspension of a license, the board shall promptly institute a hearing. If the board determines that a complaint does not allege facts which warrant a hearing, the complaint may be dismissed by the board. The board, on its own motion, may institute a hearing for disciplinary action or for the denial, suspension, or revocation of a license.

(5) Any person whose license has been suspended or revoked may apply to the board for vacation of the suspension or reinstatement of his or her license.

(j) Upon finding that a person governed by this chapter has practiced as a behavior analyst, advertised that he or she performs as a behavior analyst, or utilized a title or description denoting that he or she is a behavior analyst without first having obtained a license, the board may do any of the following:

(1) Impose an administrative fine.

(2) Issue a cease and desist order.

(3) Petition the circuit court of the county where the act occurred to enforce the cease and desist order and collect the assessed fine.

(k) A majority of the membership of the board shall constitute a quorum.

(l) The board shall elect a chair from among its membership on an annual basis.

(m) There is established a separate special revenue fund in the State Treasury known as the Alabama Behavior Analyst Licensing Board Fund. All receipts collected by the board pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited into this fund and used to the credit of the board for its operation and to carry out this chapter. Receipts shall be disbursed only by warrant of the Comptroller drawn upon the State Treasury upon itemized vouchers approved by the chair.

(Act 2014-163, p. 465, §3; Act 2016-400, §1.)