Autism Legislation

Our Public Policy team reviews pending legislation that affects the autism community, providing support and recommendations for legislative sponsors when needed.   Here are pending bills we've been monitoring and important laws that have been a focus of our advocacy efforts.

Pending Legislation

The 2016-17 legislative session began on January 12, 2016.

You can search for the text of the bills and their status here:  http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/Default.asp

Insurance

  • Establishes Behavioral Health Insurance Claims Advocacy Program - A909/S692

Special Education

  • Establishes Autism Education Council - A931/S1895
  • Establishes certain requirements for use of physical restraint on students with disabilities in school districts and approved private schools for students with disabilities - A501/S1163  Autism New Jersey Testimony/Recommendations>>

Transportation

  • Requires NJT to limit fare increases under its discount program for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and college students; designated as "Fare Affordability and Ridership Empowerment (FARE) Act." - A3075/S1123

Recently-Enacted Legislation

You can search for the text of the bills and their status here:  http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/Default.asp

Safety 

  • NEW:  Provides protections for individuals with developmental disabilities; upgrades crimes committed against such individuals; and improves transparency and accountability in investigations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of such individuals; designated as "Stephen Komninos' Law."
    Signed into law 10/6/2017.  Approved P.L.2017, c.238.  Read more>>

Adult Services

  • Provides for monitoring and evaluation of transition of mental health and substance use disorder treatment service system and developmental disability system to a fee-for-service reimbursement model.   
    Signed into law 5/11/2017 P.L.2017, c.85 Read more>>
  • Establishes task force to study and make recommendations concerning mobility and support services needs of NJ adults with autism spectrum disorder - A3432/S1825 
    Signed into law 5/1/2017 P.L.2017, c.53 Read more>>
  • Requires DHS to develop timeline for use by individuals with developmental disabilities to gain benefit of State and federal programs; requires posting timeline on DHS, DCF, and DOE websites-S1041/A1449
    Signed into law 12/5/2016 P.L.2016, c.72 

Special Education

  • Requires teacher preparation program for instructional certificate to include certain amount of instruction or clinical experience in special education and for students with disabilities endorsement to include credit hours in autism spectrum disorder - A2786/S1474
    Signed into law 2/6/2017 P.L.2017, c.6. Read more>>
  • Directs DOE to make database of special education decisions available on website - A3856/S1451
    Signed into law 7/13/2017 P.L.2017, c.103

Funding

  • Provides for voluntary contributions by taxpayers on gross income tax returns to support autism programs - A3267/S2519
    Signed into law 2/10/2017. P.L.2017, c.24.  Read more>> 

Awareness

  • NEW: Designates April 2nd of each year as "World Autism Awareness Day." - AJR54/SJR104
    Signed into law 7/21/2017 P.L.2017, JR-14

Children’s Services

  • NEW: Provides protections for children under the age of 18 with developmental disabilities and individuals with developmental disabilities ages 18-21 receiving services from Division of Children's System of Care. -- A3386/S2711
    Signed into law 8/7/2017 P.L.2017, c.213

 


NJ Statehouse Dome

Learn More

To learn more about the legislative process, visit these useful sites:

State:

New Jersey Legislature Homepage
The Office of Legislative Services (OLS)

Federal:

The Library of Congress -- THOMAS


Key Committees

Legislation that affects the autism community is typically first heard in the following committees. Legislation must be voted “out of committee” prior to a vote by the full Senate and General Assembly. The Governor’s signature is then the final step to pass the legislation and enact it into law. 

Key Senate Committees:
Budget and Appropriations
Education
Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens

Key Assembly Committee:
Appropriations
Budget
Education
Financial Institutions and Insurance
Health and Senior Services
Housing and Community Development
Human Services
Women and Children  

AUTISM NEW JERSEY
500 Horizon Drive, Suite 530 Robbinsville, NJ 08691
Phone: 609.588.8200; 800.4.AUTISM | Fax: 609.588.8858
Email: information@autismnj.org

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