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Legislative Actions

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2013 Legislation

Sent with the approval of Michelle Scott-Lewing, Executive Director of the Autism Coalition of Nevada

From: Jan Crandy, Commissioner, Nevada Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorder

Huge kudos and gratitude to the Nevada Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee for hearing AB369!

You can read the bill here……..                                               


This committee REALLY CARES ABOUT AUTISM and it shows!!!!

Please express your thanks to Chairman David Bobzien - email: David.Bobzien@asm.state.nv.us
Vice Chair Marilyn Kirkpatrick - email: Marilyn.Kirkpatrick@asm.state.nv.us
and members:
Irene Bustamante Adams - email: Irene.BustamanteAdams@asm.state.nv.us)
Maggie Carlton - email: Maggie.Carlton@asm.state.nv.us)
Skip Daly - email: Skip.Daly@asm.state.nv.us)
Olivia Diaz - email: Olivia.Diaz@asm.state.nv.us
Jason Frierson - email: Jason.Frierson@asm.state.nv.us
James Healey - email: James.Healey@asm.state.nv.us
William C. William Horne - email: William.Horne@asm.state.nv.us
James Ohrenschall - email: James.Ohrenschall@asm.state.nv.us
John Ellison - email: John.Ellison@asm.state.nv.us
Tom Grady - email: Tom.Grady@asm.state.nv.us
Ira Hansen - email: Ira.Hansen@asm.state.nv.us
Cresent Hardy - email: Cresent.Hardy@asm.state.nv.us
Peter Livermore - email: Pete.Livermore@asm.state.nv.us

And make sure you thank our bill sponsors: 
Assemblyman James Ohrenschall
email: James.Ohrenschall@asm.state.nv.us
Assemblywoman Melissa Woodbury 
email: Melissa.Woodbury@asm.state.nv.us
Assemblywoman Marilyn Dondero Loop

Please take time to email them or reach out by calling at 775-684-6800 ask for their office and leave a positive message. AB369 has great possibilities to improve insurance coverage for Autism.

This information forwarded by

Autism Coalition of Nevada

1790 Vassar Street

Reno, NV 89502



To DONATE: www.aconv.org

Autism was funded!

The Autism Community can be extremely grateful this legislative session and pleased, while other programs were cut, Legislators and the Governor recognized the critical need to treat children with ASD.

Autism was funded.

The Autism Treatment Assistance Program, known as ATAP had funding increased. It had originally been cut to 83 children from the current 110, the add back money allows ATAP to serve 134 children the first year and 137 children the 2nd year.

The 174 children currently receiving funding for Autism services through Regional Centers will continue to do so. However, children on the Regional Center Autism waiting list will move over to the ATAP waiting list.

Assembly Bill 316 and 345 passed! The votes in the Assembly and the Senate were unanimous.

An overview of what our final bills provide:

Establishes the Autism Treatment Assistance Program (ATAP) within the Aging and Disability Services Division as Nevada's Autism Program.

This is important, because Autism and the ATAP program are now in Nevada Statue, which gives it more protection in the budget moving forward. When budget cutting decisions are made, it will never be given a low priority again.

Additionally, the legislation requires the Health Division (Early Intervention) to refer children with Autism to the ATAP program, Also requiring them to assess/diagnose for Autism as early as possible.

It requires the Division of Aging and Disability Services of the Department of Health and Human Services, in cooperation with the Department of Education, representatives of school districts, and the Nevada Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders, to prescribe statewide standards for measuring outcomes and assessing persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders through the age of 21 years for the purpose of receiving services through a State or local government agency. The Division must also designate a protocol for determining if a person has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and collect data concerning services such persons receive and any progress as a result of those services.

Outcome measures provides information to determine if programs are effective and working for kids.

The bill requires school district boards of trustees and the governing bodies of charter schools to conduct initial and periodic evaluations of their pupils with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Health Division of the Department of Health and Human Services shall also conduct initial and periodic evaluations on their clients with Autism Spectrum Disorders to track the progress of those individuals.

Finally, A.B. 316 and A.B. 345 requires the Department of Education, the Health Division, and the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation to report annually to the Aging and Disability Services Division certain information including the number of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Each year, the Aging and Disability Services Division must prepare and make publicly available a summary of these reports. The summary must not reveal the identity of any person who received services. One step closer to getting a true picture of the impact of Autism in Nevada.

This bill is effective on July 1, 2011. The Bills can be viewed in their entirety on the Nevada Legislature website.

We hope you will each take a moment and thank your Legislator, and the Governor, for all their support. Thanks to all of you that testified, made calls, and worked so hard to preserve our place in the budget.

Ralph Toddre, Commissioner
1500 Foremaster Lane
Las Vegas, Nevada
email: rtoddre@mynews3.com 
Mary Liveratti, Commissioner
Nevada Department of Health
and Human Services
Carson City, Nevada
email: mliveratti@dhhs.nv.gov 
Jan M. Crandy, Commissioner
3812 Ginger Creek
Las Vegas, Nevada 89108
email: comservjan@cox.net 

2011 Autism Funding Cuts & Bills

This legislative session will be difficult for our autism community. Many programs and services for children with autism are on the verge of being cut drastically. Our hopes, that the Governor would save the Regional Center Self-Directed Autism Program by including it in his budget have failed. The budget was released and the funding is not included. So children receiving this funding will lose their funding, effective June 30, 2011. This program currently serves 174 children statewide. The ADSD ATAP will only be able to serve 83 children.

Here are a few bills families affected by autism should be watching and expressing opinions.

BDR 26 (bill# pending)

Sponsored by Assemblyman James Ohrenschall

The main goal of this bill is to save the Regional Center Self-Directed Autism funding and to make ADSD Autism Treatment Assistance Program (ATAP) permanent in the budget. The Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders is also working on "One Autism Path" another strategy for the children currently receiving Regional Center funding. BDR 26 “The Autism Hope Bill” is to improve support and services for individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families across the individual’s lifetime. Re-establish funding for Self-Directed Autism services under the Mental Health and Developmental Services (MHDS) Division and make permanent the autism program known as the Autism Treatment Assistance Program (ATAP) under Aging and Disabilities Services Division.

BDR 260

Sponsored by Assemblywoman Mellissa Woodbury

Is a bill to improve data within all Nevada agencies and school districts regarding ASD, with the hope of improving services for those with ASD. The bill addresses consistency across the state regarding the assessment and evaluation process and requires ongoing data to demonstrate treatment effects within early intervention services.

AB65 (not supported as written)

Is a bill to regulate those providing applied behavior analysis (ABA). It will require licensing and certification of everyone practicing ABA including your home interventionists. As currently written it will also require degrees from specific university programs for the BCBA and BCaBa level personnel.

This bill has the potential to increase cost and create more barriers for our families trying to access ABA for their children.

Here are some ideas on how you can get involved to let your opinions and voice be heard:

  1. Tell your story and send pictures of your child to your Nevada Assembly person and Senator. Let them know how the budget cuts will affect your family. To obtain a contact list for Assembly representatives and Senate representatives please visit www.leg.state.nv.us.
  2. Keep informed and active in your advocacy for your child.
  3. Use phone, emails and attend public hearings to share your stories. Encourage friends and family to help with this lengthily fight we face in Nevada.
  4. You can also join the "Nevada Cuts Hurt" Face Book Page to share your stories.



Governor Gibbons Celebrates Signing of AB 162 

 Governor Jim Gibbons celebrated the signing of the autism in insurance reform bill with ASD advocates from the across Nevada on Thursday, June 4.


Ralph Toddre, commissioner of the Nevada commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders, Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons and Lorri Unumb, attorney for Autism speaks celebrate the signing of the autism insurance reform bill.

Ralph Toddre, commissioner of the Nevada Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders, Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons and Lorri Unumb, senior policy advisor for Autism Speaks celebrate the signing of the autism insurance reform bill.












Governor Gibbons Signs AB 162! 

At approximately 9:30 am on Friday, May 29, Governor Jim Gibbons signed into law AB 162, the Autism Insurance Reform Bill.  It is a great day for all our families living with autism in the state of Nevada.

ACON sends a big thank you to all of the Legislatros and the Governor for making this happen and for believing in our cause and caring for our children.  And a very speical thank you to Assemblyman James Ohrenschall for standing with us all the way, and for having the guts to introduce this Bill when 6 months ago we were told "it has no chance"!!!  A huge thank you to the incredibel people at Autism Speaks!  We really couldn't have done this withouth them.  Their expertise, testimony, and incredibel support through it all, made this day possible.  And to you parents and families.... THANK YOU!!!

AB162 Summary of Nevada Autism Insurance Reform Bill: Assembly Bill 162 - Sponsored by Assemblyman James Ohrenschall (D-12)Co-sponsors: Assembly - Buckley, Leslie, Woodbury, Conklin, Aizley, Anderson, Arberry, Atkinson, Bobzien, Carpenter, Christensen, Clarborn, Denis, Dondero Loop, Goicoechea, Grady, Hambrick, Hardy, Hogan, Horne, Kihuen, Kirkpatrick, Hardy, Hogan, Mastroluca, McClain, Mortenson, Munford, Oceguera, Parnell, Pierce, Segerblom, Smith and Stewart. Senators: Horsford, Schneider, Lee, Wiener, Townsend, Amodei, Breeden, Care, Carlton, Coffin, Copening, Nolan, Parks, Rhoads and Woodhouse.·     

Requires private health insurance companies to provide coverage for the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder.· Coverage of treatments will be provided when prescribed for an individual diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder by a licensed physician or a licensed psychologist who determines the care to be medically necessary.· Coverage will be provided to individuals under the age of 18, or through the age of 21 if the individual is enrolled in high school.·      Coverage under this bill is subject to a maximum benefit of $36,000 annually for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy.·The bill includes coverage of the following treatments when written into a treatment plan: Habilitative or rehabilitative care, Prescription drugs, Psychiatric care, Psychological care, Therapeutic care (Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy), and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and behavioral therapies.· The bill defines "behavioral therapy" as "any interactive therapy derived from evidence-based research, including, without limitation, discrete trial training, early intensive behavioral intervention, intensive intervention programs, pivotal response training and verbal behavior"

  • The bill applies  to small and large group health plans, and State worker Health Plan, governed by state law. Individual plans will have to offer an optional rider for autism coverage.

 To read the bill and view its complete history go to:http://www.leg.state.nv.us/75th2009/reports/history.cfm?ID=345  

AB359Summary of Bill: This Bill Passed and is NOW LAW !!

Assembly Bill 359 - Sponsored by Assemblywoman Melissa WoodburyCo-sponsors: Hardy , Gansert , Ohrenschall , Aizley , Atkinson , Bobzien , Christensen , Claborn , Denis , Dondero Loop , Goedhart , Goicoechea , Hambrick , Hogan , Kihuen , Kirkpatrick , Manendo , Munford , Oceguera , Pierce , Settelmeyer , Spiegel , Stewart , Breeden , Schneider , Woodhouse ·     

The bill requires all children being evaluated at Nevada Early Intervention or its community partners for services be screened for Autism according to the American Pediatrics Association recommendations.·     

The bill requires Nevada Early Intervention to notify parents immediately if their child is found to be at risk of autism and refer child for a diagnosis and treatment. ·     

The bill requires the staff, who serve children with Autism within the Nevada Early Intervention or its contractors to provide parents with accurate information on autism and evidence-based treatments.·     

The bills lays out a foundation of skills paraprofessionals should acquire to work with students with autism.·     

The bill requires school district staff to refer to the 2008 Autism Task Force document when designing programs for students with autism. 

You can read the bill and its history by going to: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/75th2009/reports/history.cfm?ID=709  

AB222 and SB171Summary of Bills:·     

The bill continued the funding for the self-directed autism programs serving 121 children. The funding was not put into the Governor’s budget. Which would cause the program to sunset in June, 2009. ·     

The original bill only asked for $2 million, advocates testified $3.2 million was needed to serve the children currently on the program, Legislators listened.·       

Thanks to the support of the Legislative Leadership, the Joint Finance Committee of Assembly and the Senate voted to support this as an add back and the needed $3.2 million was put back into the budget!! 

On December 11th, 2008, the Governor, by Executive Order appointed Ralph Toddre, Jan Crandy, and Mary Liverati to serve on the Nevada Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders. The purpose of this Commission is to oversee that the recommendations of the Nevada Autism Task Force are implemented, as well as to work with State agencies to improve services.

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