The House on Monday approved a bill that would extend and expand benefits to people with autism and related conditions.
Sponsored by Rep. Roz Peterson (R-Lakeville) and Sen. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), HF919/ SF562* modifies a 2013 law that provided intensive treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders. Passed 131-0, the bill would extend the benefits, called Early Intensive Developmental and Behavioral Intervention (EIDBI), to 21-year-olds and expands qualifying conditions.
After passing the Senate March 20 by a 66-0 vote, the bill now heads to Gov. Mark Dayton.
Peterson said the bill was a collaboration among stakeholders, providers and the state. It adds flexibility, Peterson said, “to cover new evidence-based therapies as we learn more about autism.”
The Department of Human Services states the program focuses on individualized treatment plans, coordinated care and training for parents and caregivers. Bolstering the benefits, supporters say, will provide better workplace opportunities and help with outreach – with no added cost to the state.
The bill also adds safeguards, like pre-benefit evaluations, monitoring treatment plans and evaluations for treatment goals, along with clarifying language to meet federal standards.
Introduced in March 2017 by Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein (DFL-New Brighton) and Sen. Carolyn Laine (DFL-Columbia Heights), HF2470/SF2259, aims to stop the cycle of opioid misuse and addiction through education.
The conference committee tasked with hammering out the differences that divide the House and Senate on a laundry list of major issues met for the first time Tuesday afternoon.
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