HOUSE BILL NO. 429
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 20, TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY,
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking Chapter 20 in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"CHAPTER 20. OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
Subchapter I. Board of Occupational Therapy Practice
The primary objective of the Board of Occupational Therapy Practice, to which all other objectives and purposes are secondary, is to protect the general public, specifically those persons who are the direct recipients of services regulated by this Chapter, from unsafe practices and from occupational practices which tend to reduce competition or fix the price of services rendered.
The secondary objectives of the Board are to maintain minimum standards of practitioner competency and to maintain certain standards in the delivery of services to the public. In meeting its objectives, the Board shall develop standards assuring professional competence; shall monitor complaints brought against practitioners regulated by the Board; shall adjudicate at formal hearings; shall promulgate rules and regulations; and shall impose sanctions where necessary against practitioners.
Nothing in this Chapter shall be deemed a direct or indirect commitment by the General Assembly to a present or future requirement that insurers or other third parties must offer or provide coverage for the services of practitioners licensed under this Chapter.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this Chapter shall have the meanings ascribed to them under this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) 'Board' shall mean the State Board of Occupational Therapy Practice established in this Chapter.
(2) 'Excessive use or abuse of drugs' shall mean any use of narcotics, controlled substances, or illegal drugs without a prescription from a licensed physician, or the abuse of alcoholic beverage such that it impairs his or her ability to perform the work of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
(3) 'Occupational therapist' shall mean a person who is licensed to practice occupational therapy pursuant to this act and who offers such services to the public under any title incorporating the words 'occupational therapy,' 'occupational therapist' or any similar title or description of occupational therapy services.
(4) 'Occupational therapy assistant' shall mean a person licensed to assist in the practice of occupational therapy, under the supervision of an occupational therapist.
(5) 'Occupational therapy services' shall mean, but are not limited to:
a. the assessment, treatment and education of or consultation with the individual, family, or other persons, or;
b. interventions directed toward developing, improving, or restoring daily living skills, work readiness or work performance, play skills or leisure capacities, or enhancing educational performance skills; or,
c. providing for the development, improvement, or restoration of sensorimotor, oralmotor, perceptual or neuromuscular functioning, or emotional, motivational, cognitive, or psychosocial components of performance.
These services may require assessment of the need for use of interventions such as the design, development, adaptation, application, or training in the use of assistive technology devices; the design, fabrication, or application of rehabilitative technology such as selected orthotic devices; training in the use of assistive technology, orthotic, or prosthetic devices; the application of thermal agent modalities, including, but not limited to, paraffin, hot and cold packs and fluido therapy, as an adjunct to, or in preparation for, purposeful activity; the use of ergonomic principles; the adaptation of environments and processes to enhance functional performance; or the promotion of health and wellness.
(5) 'Person' shall mean a corporation, company, association and partnership, as well as an individual.
(6) 'Practice of occupational therapy' shall mean the use of goal-directed activities with individuals who are limited by physical limitations due to injury or illness, psychiatric and emotional disorders, developmental or learning disabilities, poverty and cultural differences or the aging process, in order to maximize independence, prevent disability and maintain health.
(7) 'Supervision' shall mean the interactive process between the licensed occupational therapist and the occupational therapy assistant. It shall be more than a paper review or cosignature. The supervising occupational therapist is responsible for insuring the extent, kind, and quality of the services rendered by the occupational therapy assistant.
§2003. Board of Occupational Therapy Practice; appointments- qualifications term- vacancies' suspension or removal; unexcused absences; compensation.
(a) There is created a State Board of Occupational Therapy Practice which shall administer and enforce this Chapter.
(b) The Board shall consist of five members appointed by the Governor, who are residents of this state: Three professional members, two of whom shall be occupational therapists licensed under this Chapter, one may be a licensed occupational therapy assistant, and two public members. The public members shall not be, nor ever have been, occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants, nor members of the immediate family of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant; shall not have been employed by an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant; shall not have a material interest in the providing of goods and services to occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants; nor have been engaged in an activity directly related to occupational therapy. The public members shall be accessible to inquiries, comments and suggestions from the general public.
(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, each member shall serve a term of three years, and may succeed himself or herself for one additional term; provided, however, that where a member was initially appointed to fill a vacancy, such member may succeed himself or herself for only one additional full term. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term of the former member. Each term of office shall expire on the date specified in the appointment; however, the Board member shall remain eligible to participate in Board proceedings unless and until replaced by the Governor. Persons who are members of the Board on the effective date of this Act shall complete their terms.
(d) A person who has never served on the Board may be appointed to the Board for two consecutive terms; but no such person shall thereafter be eligible for two consecutive appointments.
No person, who has been twice appointed to the Board or who has served on the Board for six years within any nine-year period, shall again be appointed to the Board until an interim period of at least one year has expired since such person last served.
(e) Any act or vote by a person appointed in violation of this section shall be invalid. An amendment or revision of this Chapter is not sufficient cause for any appointment or attempted appointment in violation of subsection (d) of this section, unless such an amendment or revision amends this section to permit such an appointment.
(f) A member of the Board shall be suspended or removed by the Governor for misfeasance, nonfeasance, or malfeasance. A member subject to disciplinary hearing shall be disqualified from Board business until the charge is adjudicated or the matter is otherwise concluded. A Board member may appeal any suspension or removal to the Superior Court.
(g) No member of the Board, while serving on the Board, shall hold elective office in any professional association of occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants; this includes a prohibition against serving as head of the professional association's Political Action Committee (PAC).
(h) The provisions of Chapter 58, Title 29 of the Delaware Code shall apply to all members of the Board.
(i) Any member who is absent without adequate reason for three consecutive meetings, or fails to attend at least half of all regular business meetings during any calendar year, shall be guilty of neglect of duty.
(j) Each member of the Board shall be reimbursed for all expenses involved in each meeting, including travel, according to Division policy; and in addition shall receive not more than $50 for each meeting attended but not more than $500 in any calendar year. After 10 meetings have been attended, the member shall not be compensated for any subsequent meetings attended in that year.
§2004. Organization. meetings. officers. quorum.
(a) The Board shall hold regularly scheduled business meetings at least once in each quarter of a calendar year, and at such times as the Chair deems necessary; or, at the request of a majority of the Board members.
(b) The Board shall elect annually from its members a chair, vice-chair and secretary. Each officer shall serve for one year, and shall not succeed himself or herself for more than two consecutive terms. In the event of a vacancy in one of the offices, a replacement shall be elected at the next Board meeting.
(c) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business. No disciplinary action shall be taken without the affirmative vote of three members of the Board.
(d) Minutes of all meetings shall be recorded, and copies shall be maintained by the Division of Professional Regulation. At any hearing where evidence is presented, a record from which a verbatim transcript can be prepared shall be made. The expense of preparing any transcript shall be incurred by the person requesting it.
The Division of Professional Regulation shall keep a register of all approved applications for license as an occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant, and complete records relating to meetings of the Board, examinations, rosters, changes and additions to the Board's rules and regulations, complaints, hearings and such other matters as the Board shall determine. Such records shall be prima facie evidence of the proceedings of the Board.
§2006. Powers and duties
(a) The Board of Occupational Therapy Practice shall have authority to:
(1) Formulate rules and regulations, with appropriate notice to those affected; all rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the procedures specified in the Administrative Procedures Act of this State. Each rule or regulation shall implement or clarify a specific section of this Chapter.
(2) Designate the application form to be used by all applicants, and to process all applications;
(3) Designate the written, standardized examination as approved by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc., or its successor, to be taken by all persons applying for licensure; applicants who qualify for licensure by reciprocity shall have achieved a passing score on the national examination;
(4) The Board shall adopt the administration, grading procedures, and passing score of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc., or a comparable alternative national or regional examination, if a national examination is not available;
(5) Establish minimum education, training, and experience requirements for licensure as occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants;
(6) Evaluate the credentials of all persons applying for a license to practice occupational therapy and to practice as occupational therapy assistants in Delaware, in order to determine whether such persons meet the qualifications for licensing set forth in this Chapter.
(6) Grant licenses to, and renew licenses of, all persons who meet the qualifications for licensure and/or renewal of licenses;
(7) Establish by rule and regulation continuing education standards required for license renewal;
(8) Evaluate certified records to determine whether an applicant for licensure, who has been previously licensed, certified, or registered in another jurisdiction to practice occupational therapy or to act as an occupational therapy assistant, has engaged in any act or offense that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this Chapter and whether there are disciplinary proceedings or unresolved complaints pending against such applicants for such acts or offenses.
(9) Refer all complaints from licensees and the public concerning licensed occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, or concerning practices of the Board or of the profession, to the Division of Professional Regulation for investigation pursuant to §8807 of Title 29 of the Delaware Code; and, assign a member of the Board to assist the Division in an advisory capacity with the investigation of the technical aspects of the complaint;
(10) Conduct hearings and issue orders in accordance with procedures established pursuant to this Chapter, Chapter 101 of Title 29 of the Delaware Code, and §8807 of Title 29 of the Delaware Code. Where such provisions conflict with the provisions of this Chapter, this Chapter shall govern. The Board shall determine whether or not an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant shall be subject to a disciplinary hearing, and, if so, shall conduct such hearing in accordance with this Chapter and the Administrative Procedures Act.
(11) Where it has been determined after a disciplinary hearing, that penalties or sanctions should be imposed, to designate and impose the appropriate sanction or penalty after time for appeal has lapsed.
Subchapter II. License
§2007. License required.
(a) No person shall engage in the practice of occupational therapy or hold himself or herself out to the public in this State as being qualified to practice as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant; or use in connection with his or her name, or otherwise assume or use, any title or description conveying or tending to convey the impression that he or she is qualified to practice occupational therapy, unless such person has been duly licensed under this Chapter.
(b) Whenever a license to practice as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant in this state has expired or been suspended or revoked, it shall be unlawful for the person to practice occupational therapy in this state.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person, or for any business entity, its employees, agents or representatives to use in connection with his or its name or business activity the words occupational therapist, occupational therapist registered, licensed occupational therapist, occupational therapy assistant, licensed occupational therapy assistant, the letters of OT, OT/L, OTR, OTR/L, OTA, COTA, COTA/L, or any other words, letters, abbreviations or insignia indicating or implying directly or indirectly that occupational therapy services are rendered unless such person is licensed under this Chapter.
§2008. Qualifications of applicant: report to Attorney General: judicial review.
(a) An applicant who is applying for licensure as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant under this Chapter shall submit evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board, that such person:
(1) has successfully completed the academic requirements of an educational program in occupational therapy recognized by the Board; and
a. The occupational therapy educational program shall be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE);
b. The occupational therapy assistant educational program shall be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
(2) has successfully completed a period of supervised field work experience arranged by the recognized educational institution where he or she has met the academic requirements, or by the nationally recognized professional association;
(3) has achieved the passing score on the written standardized examination developed by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc., or its successor; and,
(4) shall not have been the recipient of any administrative penalties regarding his or her practice of occupational therapy, including but not limited to fines, formal reprimands, license suspensions or revocation, (except for license revocations for nonpayment of license renewal fees), probationary limitations, and/or has not entered into any 'consent agreements' which contain conditions placed by a Board on his or her professional conduct and practice, including any voluntary surrender of a license;
(5) shall not have any impairment related to drugs, alcohol, or a finding of mental incompetence by a physician that would limit the applicant's ability to undertake the practice of occupational therapy in a manner consistent with the safety of the public;
(6) shall not have been convicted of a felony;
(7) shall not have a criminal conviction record, nor pending criminal charge relating to an offense, the circumstances of which substantially relate to the practice of occupational therapy. Applicants who have criminal conviction records or pending criminal charges shall require appropriate authorities to provide information about the record or charge directly to the Board in sufficient specificity to enable the Board to make a determination whether the record or charge is substantially related to the practice of occupational therapy.
(b) Where the Board has found to its satisfaction that an application has been intentionally fraudulent, or that false information has been intentionally supplied, it shall report its findings to the Attorney General for further action.
(c) Where the application of a person has been refused or rejected and such applicant feels that the Board has acted without justification; has imposed higher or different standards for him or her than for other applicants or licensees; or has in some other manner contributed to or caused the failure of such application, the applicant may appeal to the Superior Court.
§2009. Applicability of Chapter.
Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed as preventing or restricting the practice, services or activities of:
(1) Any person registered or licensed in this State by any other law from engaging in the profession or occupation for which he or she is licensed;
(2) Any person pursuing a course of study leading to a degree or certificate in occupational therapy at an accredited or approved educational program if such activities and services constitute a part of a supervised course of study and if such a person is designated by a title which clearly indicates his or her status as a student or trainee;
(3) Any person fulfilling the supervised field work experience requirements of this Chapter, if such activities and services constitute the requirements for licensure; or
(4) Any visiting occupational therapist who teaches temporarily at an accredited or approved educational program, or who lectures or instructs participants at seminars sanctioned by the Delaware Occupational Therapy Association.
§2010. Foreign-trained Applicants.
In addition to the requirement of §2008 of this Chapter, a foreign-trained applicant shall be eligible for licensure as an occupational therapist or as an occupational therapy assistant after submitting to the Board satisfactory evidence of graduation from a school offering a program in occupational therapy or occupational therapy assistant which has been approved for the educational preparation of occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants by the appropriate accrediting agency recognized by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc.
Upon payment of the appropriate fee and submission and acceptance of a written application on forms provided by the Board, the Board shall grant a license to each applicant who shall present proof of current licensure in good standing in another state, the District of Columbia, or territory of the United States, whose standards for licensure are substantially similar to those of this State, and who meets the following criteria:
(a) his or her license is in good standing as defined in §2008(a)(4),(5),(6), and (7) of this Chapter; and
(b) has achieved the passing score on all parts of the written, standardized examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc., or its successor.
§2012. Temporary license.
a) Upon submission to the Board of a written application on forms provided by it, the Board may issue a temporary license to an applicant who has applied for licensure under this title and who is, in the judgment of the Board, eligible to take the examination provided for in §2008 of this Title. In the case of occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants, such temporary licensure may be available to an applicant only with respect to his or her first application for licensure; and the applicant may only use the temporary licensure while under the direct supervision of a licensed occupational therapist. In all cases, such temporary license shall expire automatically in the event the applicant fails the examination; and, upon such expiration, the temporary license shall be surrendered to the Board.
b) A licensee, upon written request, may be placed in an inactive status. The renewal fee of such person shall be prorated in accordance with the amount of time such person was inactive. Such person may reenter practice upon written notification to the board of the intent to do so and completion of continuing education as required in the Board's rules and regulations.
The amount to be charged for each fee imposed under this Chapter shall approximate and reasonably reflect all costs necessary to defray the expenses of the Board, as well as the proportional expenses incurred by the Division of Professional Regulation in its service on behalf of the Board. There shall be a separate fee charged for each service or activity; but, no fee shall be charged for a purpose not specified in this Chapter. The application fee shall not be combined with any other fee or charge. At the beginning of each licensure biennium, the Division of Professional Regulation, or any other state agency acting in its behalf, shall compute, for each separate service or activity, the appropriate Board fees for the coming licensure biennium.
§2014. Issuance and renewal of licenses.
The Board shall issue a license to each applicant, who meets the requirements of this Chapter for licensure as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant and who pays the fee established under §2013 of this Chapter.
Each license shall be renewed biennially, in such manner as is determined by the Division of Professional Regulation, and upon payment of the appropriate fee and submission of a renewal form provided by the Division of Professional Regulation, and proof that the licensee has met the continuing education requirements established by the Board.
The Board, in its rules and regulations, shall determine the period of time within which a licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant may still renew his or her license, notwithstanding the fact that such licensee has failed to renew on or before the renewal date.
§2015. Grounds for discipline.
(a) A practitioner licensed under this Chapter shall be subject to disciplinary actions set forth in §2017 of this Chapter, if, after a hearing, the Board finds that the occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant:
(1) has employed or knowingly cooperated in fraud or material deception in order to acquire a license as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant; has impersonated another person holding a license or registration, or allowed another person to use his or her license, or aided or abetted a person not licensed as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant to represent himself or herself as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant;
(2) has been convicted of a felony or a crime involving the violation of a patient's trust; a copy of the record of conviction certified by the clerk of the court entering the conviction shall be conclusive evidence therefor;
(3) has excessively used or abused drugs either in the past two years or currently; excessive use or abuse of drugs shall mean any use of narcotics, controlled substances, or illegal drugs without a prescription from a licensed physician, or the abuse of alcoholic beverage such that it impairs the practitioner's ability to perform the work of an occupational therapy or occupational therapy assistant;
(4) has engaged in an act of consumer fraud or deception; engaged in the restraint of competition; or participated in price-fixing activities;
(5) has violated a lawful provision of this Chapter, or any lawful regulation established thereunder;
(6) has had his or her license, certification, or registration as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant suspended or revoked, or other disciplinary action taken by the appropriate licensing authority in another jurisdiction; provided, however, that the underlying grounds for such action in another jurisdiction have been presented to the Board by certified record, and the Board has determined that the facts found by the appropriate authority in the other jurisdiction constitute one or more of the acts defined in this Chapter. Every person licensed as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant in this state shall be deemed to have given consent to the release of this information by the Board of Occupational Therapy Practice or other comparable agencies in another jurisdiction and to waive all objections to the admissibility of previously adjudicated evidence of such acts or offenses;
(7) has failed to notify the Board that his or her license, certification or registration as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant in another state has been subject to discipline, or has been surrendered, suspended or revoked. A certified copy of the record of disciplinary action, surrender, suspension or revocation shall be conclusive evidence thereof;
(8) while acting as a supervising occupational therapist, has failed to supervise and take reasonable steps to see that occupational therapy assistants and temporary licensees perform services responsibly, competently, and ethically, in accordance with rules and regulations established by the Board. Supervising occupational therapists shall be subject to disciplinary action for any acts or offenses which are grounds for such action when such acts or offenses are undertaken by the occupational therapy assistant or temporary licensee acting under the supervising occupational therapist's direction or control.
(b) Where a practitioner fails to comply with the Board's request that he or she attend a hearing, the Board may petition the Superior Court to order such attendance, and the said Court or any judge assigned thereto shall have the jurisdiction to issue such order.
(c) Subject to the provisions of this Chapter and Subchapter IV of Chapter 101 of Title 29 of the Delaware Code, no license shall be restricted, suspended or revoked by the Board, and no practitioner's right to practice occupational therapy or to act as an occupational therapy assistant shall be limited by the Board until such practitioner has been given notice, and an opportunity to be heard, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.
All complaints shall be received and investigated by the Division of Professional Regulation in accordance with §8807 of Title 29 of the Delaware Code, and the Division shall be responsible for issuing a final written report at the conclusion of its investigation.
When it is determined that an individual is engaging in the practice of occupational therapy or is using the title occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant and is not licensed under the laws of this state, the Board shall apply to the Office of the Attorney General to issue a cease and desist order after formally warning the unlicensed practitioner in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.
Any complaints involving allegations of unprofessional conduct or incompetence shall be investigated by the Division of Professional Regulation.
§2017. Disciplinary sanctions.
(a) The Board may impose any of the following sanctions, singly or in combination, when it finds that one or more of the conditions or violations set forth in §2015 of this Chapter applies to a practitioner regulated by this Chapter:
(1) Issue a letter of reprimand.
(2) Censure a practitioner.
(3) Place a practitioner on probationary status, and require the practitioner to:
a. report regularly to the Board upon the matters which are the basis of the probation;
b. limit all practice and professional activities to those areas prescribed by the Board;
(4) Suspend any practitioner's license.
(5) Revoke any practitioner's license.
(6) Impose a monetary penalty not to exceed $500 for each violation.
(b) The Board may withdraw or reduce conditions of probation when it finds that the deficiencies which required such action have been remedied.
(c) The Board may temporarily suspend a practitioner's license in advance of a final adjudication, during the appeals process, but only in cases where there is clear and immediate danger to the health and safety and welfare of the public if the licensee is allowed to continue to practice. Such suspension may be appealed to Superior Court.
(d) As a condition to reinstatement of a suspended license, or removal from probationary status, the Board may impose such disciplinary or corrective measures as are authorized under this Chapter.
§2018. Hearing Procedures.
(a) If a complaint is filed with the Board pursuant to §8807 of Title 29 of the Delaware Code, alleging violation of §2015 of this Chapter, the Board shall set a time and place to conduct a hearing on the complaint. Notice of the hearing shall be given and the hearing conducted in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 101 of Title 29 of the Delaware Code.
(b) All hearings shall be informal without use of rules of evidence. If the Board finds, by a majority vote of all members, that the complaint has merit, the Board shall take such action permitted under this Chapter as it deems necessary. The Board's decision shall be in writing and shall include its reasons for such decision. The Board's decision shall be mailed immediately to the practitioner.
(c) Where the practitioner is in disagreement with the action of the Board, he or she may appeal the Board's decision to the Superior Court within 30 days of service, or of the postmarked date of the copy of the decision mailed to him or her. Upon such appeal the Court shall hear the evidence on the record. Stays shall be granted in accordance with §10144 of Title 29 of the Delaware Code.
§2019. Reinstatement of a suspended license; removal from probationary status: replacement of license.
(a) As a condition to reinstatement of a suspended license, or removal from probationary status, the Board may reinstate such license if, after a hearing, the Board is satisfied that the licensee has taken the prescribed corrective actions and otherwise satisfied all of the conditions of the suspension and/or the probation.
(b) Applicants for reinstatement shall pay the appropriate fees and submit documentation required by the Board as evidence that all the conditions of a suspension and/or probation have been met. Proof that the applicant has met the continuing education requirements of this Chapter may also be required, as appropriate.
(c) A new license to replace any license lost, destroyed or mutilated may be issued subject to the rules of the Board. A charge shall be made for such issuance.
A person not currently licensed under this Chapter as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant when guilty of engaging in the practice of occupational therapy, or using in connection with his or her name, or otherwise assuming or using any title or description conveying, or tending to convey the impression that he or she is qualified to practice occupational therapy, such offender shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon the first offense, he or she shall be fined not less than $500.00 dollars nor more than $1000.00 dollars for each offense. For a second or subsequent conviction, the fine shall be not less than $1000.00 nor more than $2000.00 for each offense. Superior Court shall have jurisdiction over all violations of this Chapter."
Section 2. Rules and Regulations.
Rules and Regulations in effect on the date of enactment of this Act shall remain valid to the extent they are not inconsistent with this Act.
Section 3. Existing Terms of Office Preserved
All members of the Board of Occupational Therapy Practice will continue to serve as members unless or until replaced by the Governor.
Section 4. Severability.
If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this Act, which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or applications, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.
Approved June 17, 1998