ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR

ASSEMBLY, No. 3975

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

  ADOPTED MAY 13, 2024

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  REGINALD W. ATKINS

District 20 (Union)

Assemblyman  DAN HUTCHISON

District 4 (Atlantic, Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblywoman  SHAMA A. HAIDER

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Verrelli, Assemblywomen Hall, Reynolds-Jackson and Speight

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes oversight and qualifications of peer recovery specialists.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Substitute as adopted by the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee.

  

 

 


An Act concerning peer recovery specialists and supplementing Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in this act:

     "Department" means the Department of Law and Public Safety.

     "Director" means the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.

     “Division” means the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.

     “Lived experience” means experience with substance use disorder and residual side effects of the disorder that informs the care a peer recovery specialist provides to other individuals experiencing substance use disorder.

     “Peer recovery specialist” means an individual who provides services as a result of lived experience to other individuals struggling with substance use disorder or mental health problems.

 

     2.    The director shall:

     a.     determine standards to qualify for certification as a peer recovery specialist, which shall include, in accordance with section 2 of P.L.2002, c.104 (C.45:1-29), passage of a criminal history record background check;

     b.    evaluate the qualifications and make a determination of the eligibility for certification of all applicants;

     c.     conduct hearings pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), except that the director shall have the right to administer oaths to witnesses, and shall have the power to issue subpoenas for the compulsory attendance of witnesses and the production of pertinent books, papers and records;

     d.    set fees necessary to process documentation related to certification; and

     e.     have the authority to address any other item deemed necessary in the oversight of peer recovery specialists.

 

     3.    A certified peer recovery specialist shall not:

     a.     engage in professional relationships or commitments that conflict with family members, friends, close associates, or others whose welfare might be jeopardized by that relationship or commitment;

     b.    exploit peer relationships with current or former peers for personal gain, including social or business relationships; and

     c.     accept as peers for recovery wellness services anyone with whom the peer recovery specialist has engaged in a personal relationship, including any family members or spouses.

     4.    No person shall provide services as a peer recovery specialist unless approved by the director pursuant to this act.  No person shall present, call, or represent themselves as a peer recovery specialist unless approved by the director pursuant to this act.

 

     5.    a.  Nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent a person from engaging in or offering services regulated by this act, including for alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder involving drugs, such as self-help, sponsorship through alcoholics and narcotics anonymous groups, or other uncompensated counseling assistance for alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder involving drugs.

     b.    Nothing in this act shall be construed to apply to the activities and services of a designated employee or other agent of a private employer who has been designated to be involved in the evaluation or referral for counseling of employees of the private employer, or an employee or other agent of a recognized academic institution, a federal, State, county, or local government institution, agency, or facility, or a school district, if the individual is performing these activities solely within the company or agency, as the case may be, or under the jurisdiction of that company or agency and if a license granted under this act is not a requirement for employment.

     c.     Nothing in this act shall be construed to apply to the activities and services of a member of the clergy of any religious denomination or sect, when engaging in activities which are within the scope of the performance of the person's regular or specialized ministerial duties and for which no separate charge is made, or when these activities are performed, with or without charge, for or under the auspices or sponsorship, individually or in conjunction with others, of an established and legally cognizable church, denomination, or sect, and when the person rendering services remains accountable to the established authority thereof.

     d.    Nothing in this act shall be construed to apply to the activities and services of a student, intern, or trainee in counseling for alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder involving drugs pursuing a course of study in counseling in a regionally accredited institution of higher education or training institution, if these activities are performed under supervision and constitute a part of the supervised course of study.

     e.     Nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent a person from providing services related to peer recovery, or advertising those services, when acting within the scope of the person's profession or occupation and doing work consistent with the person's training, including physicians, clinical social workers, psychologists, nurses, or any other profession or occupation licensed by the State, or students within accredited programs of these professions, if the person does not hold himself or herself out to the public as possessing a certification issued pursuant to this act.

 

     6.    The director shall promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c. 410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), necessary to effectuate the provisions of this act.

 

     7.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the 13th month next after the effective date.