2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
December 20, 2019 - Introduced by Representatives Steffen, Brostoff, Anderson,
Born, Duchow, Kitchens, Krug, Kuglitsch, Spiros, Dittrich, Doyle, Novak
and James, cosponsored by Senators Darling, Carpenter, Johnson, Olsen,
Wirch, Bernier and Larson. Referred to Committee on Regulatory Licensing
AB686,1,8 1An Act to renumber 252.14 (1) (ar) 4q., 448.970 and subchapter VIII (title) of
2chapter 448 [precedes 448.980]; to amend 15.085 (1m) (b), 146.997 (1) (d) 4.,
3155.01 (7) and 450.10 (3) (a) 5.; and to create 15.406 (7), 48.981 (2) (a) 20m.,
4146.81 (1) (eu), 252.14 (1) (ar) 4s., 440.03 (13) (b) 30m., 440.08 (2) (a) 37m. and
5subchapter VIII of chapter 448 [precedes 448.970] of the statutes; relating to:
6the regulation and licensure of genetic counselors, creating a genetic counselors
7affiliated credentialing board, providing an exemption from emergency rule
8procedures, granting rule-making authority, and providing a penalty.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill provides for regulation and licensing for the practice of genetic
Under the bill, subject to certain exceptions, no one may practice genetic
counseling, as defined in the bill, or use the title “genetic counselor” or make similar
representations without a license to practice genetic counseling. A license is granted
by the seven-member Genetic Counselors Affiliated Credentialing Board, created in
the bill. Under the bill, the board is attached for limited purposes to the Medical
Examining Board, which regulates physicians and certain other professions.
Under the bill, the board may grant an initial license to a person who has
successfully completed academic requirements for genetic counseling specified in

the bill, has passed an examination specified in the bill, is certified by the American
Board of Genetic Counseling, does not have an arrest or conviction record, and pays
a fee. The bill also allows the board, for three months after the requirement in the
bill to obtain a license goes into effect, to grant an initial license to practice genetic
counseling to certain individuals who cannot satisfy all of the requirements
described above but who satisfy certain experience and other requirements.
Biennial renewal of a license requires completion of at least 30 hours of continuing
education and maintenance of certification or recertification through the American
Board of Genetic Counseling. The bill also includes provisions for the unlicensed
temporary practice of genetic counseling and temporary licenses to practice genetic
The bill requires the board to promulgate rules to adopt the National Society
of Genetic Counselors code of ethics to govern the professional conduct of genetic
counselors, establish licensure renewal requirements, and establish criteria for the
approval of continuing education programs and courses.
The bill includes provisions for the professional discipline of licensees, which
allow the board to take certain actions against a licensee who violates certain
prohibitions in the bill.
Finally, the bill also applies certain other laws, such as the law providing for
confidentiality of health care records and the health care workers whistleblowers
protection law, to licensed genetic counselors.
Because this bill creates a new crime or revises a penalty for an existing crime,
the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties may be requested to prepare a
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB686,1 1Section 1. 15.085 (1m) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB686,2,52 15.085 (1m) (b) The public members of the podiatry affiliated credentialing
3board, or occupational therapists affiliated credentialing board, or genetic
4counselors affiliated credentialing board
shall not be engaged in any profession or
5occupation concerned with the delivery of physical or mental health care.
AB686,2 6Section 2. 15.406 (7) of the statutes is created to read:
AB686,3,27 15.406 (7) Genetic counselors affiliated credentialing board. There is
8created in the department of safety and professional services, attached to the medical

1examining board, a genetic counselors affiliated credentialing board consisting of the
2following members appointed for 4-year terms:
AB686,3,33 (a) Four genetic counselors who are licensed under subch. VIII of ch. 448.
AB686,3,54 (b) Two members who are licensed to practice medicine and surgery under
5subch. II of ch. 448, at least one of whom is a clinical geneticist.
AB686,3,66 (c) One public member.
AB686,3 7Section 3. 48.981 (2) (a) 20m. of the statutes is created to read:
AB686,3,88 48.981 (2) (a) 20m. A genetic counselor.
AB686,4 9Section 4. 146.81 (1) (eu) of the statutes is created to read:
AB686,3,1010 146.81 (1) (eu) A genetic counselor licensed under subch. VIII of ch. 448.
AB686,5 11Section 5. 146.997 (1) (d) 4. of the statutes is amended to read:
AB686,3,1312 146.997 (1) (d) 4. A physician, podiatrist, perfusionist, physical therapist, or
13physical therapist assistant, or genetic counselor licensed under ch. 448.
AB686,6 14Section 6. 155.01 (7) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB686,3,2415 155.01 (7) “Health care provider" means a nurse licensed or permitted under
16ch. 441, a chiropractor licensed under ch. 446, a dentist licensed under ch. 447, a
17physician, physician assistant, perfusionist, podiatrist, physical therapist, physical
18therapist assistant, occupational therapist, or occupational therapy assistant, or
19genetic counselor
licensed under ch. 448, a person practicing Christian Science
20treatment, an optometrist licensed under ch. 449, a psychologist licensed under ch.
21455, a partnership thereof, a corporation or limited liability company thereof that
22provides health care services, a cooperative health care association organized under
23s. 185.981 that directly provides services through salaried employees in its own
24facility, or a home health agency, as defined in s. 50.49 (1) (a).
AB686,7 25Section 7. 252.14 (1) (ar) 4q. of the statutes is renumbered 252.14 (1) (ar) 4n.
1Section 8. 252.14 (1) (ar) 4s. of the statutes is created to read:
AB686,4,22 252.14 (1) (ar) 4s. A genetic counselor licensed under subch. VIII of ch. 448.
AB686,9 3Section 9. 440.03 (13) (b) 30m. of the statutes is created to read:
AB686,4,44 440.03 (13) (b) 30m. Genetic counselor.
AB686,10 5Section 10. 440.08 (2) (a) 37m. of the statutes is created to read:
AB686,4,76 440.08 (2) (a) 37m. Genetic counselor: November 1 of each odd-numbered year;
AB686,11 8Section 11. Subchapter VIII of chapter 448 [precedes 448.970] of the statutes
9is created to read:
AB686,4,1010 chapter 448
AB686,4,1111 subchapter VIII
AB686,4,1312 genetic counselors affiliated
13 credentialing board
AB686,4,14 14448.970 Definitions. In this subchapter:
AB686,4,18 15(1) “Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling,” “ American Board of
16Genetic Counseling," “American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics,” and
17“National Society of Genetic Counselors” include an equivalent successor
18organization as determined by the board.
AB686,4,19 19(2) “Board" means the genetic counselors affiliated credentialing board.
AB686,4,20 20(3) “Genetic counseling” means to do any of the following:
AB686,4,2321 (a) Obtain and evaluate individual, family, and medical histories to determine
22genetic risk for genetic or medical conditions and diseases in a patient, a patient's
23offspring, and other family members.
1(b) Discuss the features, natural history, means of diagnosis, genetic and
2environmental factors, and management of risk for genetic or medical conditions and
AB686,5,54 (c) Identify, coordinate, and order genetic laboratory tests and other diagnostic
5studies as appropriate for a genetic assessment.