By Bob Katzen

The Senate approved a bill that would allow fully licensed speech pathologists to be granted a provisional license to practice in Massachusetts during their 36-month fellowship. Currently, Massachusetts is one of only eight states that does not provide a provisional license that allows their students to begin practicing during their fellowship.

Supporters said that by forbidding their right to practice during their 36-month fellowship, the state runs the risk of losing professionals educated in the Bay State to other states where they become valuable members of their community and welcomed additions to the economy.

“The commonwealth has faced a shortage of the vital services our speech language pathologists provide our public-school children—an issue we should not have in a state that is home to eight graduate programs in the field,” said sponsor Rep. Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham). “This legislation will assure we do not lose these talented professionals to other states during their 36-month fellowship by providing them with provisional licensure to practice during that time.”

The House has already approved the measure and only final approval in each branch is needed for the bill to go to Gov. Baker.

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