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Day 11: Autism Mandate

February 7, 2013

In the Senate Business and Labor committee, we discussed:

SB0168 Certified Public Accountant Licensing Amendments (Bramble) requires applicants for a CPA license to take at least 135 semester hours or 200 quarter hours of the education requirement for licensure. This bill passes out favorably.

SB0055 Insurance Coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorder (Shiozawa) amends the Insurance Code to require health insurance plans to cover the treatment of autism spectrum disorder. Coverage would be adjusted according to the Consumer Price Index, and small employers would be exempted if coverage caused premiums to increase by 2.5 percent or more. A 2-year pilot program was begun last year and is to report out in Nov 2013. There was a great deal of discussion within the committee. Sen. Shiozawa and his supporting personnel presented a strong case for the bill, stating that this is truly a disease that can be treated with very favorable results if diagnosed and treated early in a child’s life. Thirty-two states now have an autism mandate and have not experienced significantly high increases in premiums (according to data presented by the head of a national autism speaks organization). There was a lot of public input, with many parents stating that they were encouraged to quit their jobs to qualify for Medicaid and/or file bankruptcy due to the lack of insurance coverage. Three speakers from the insurance industry spoke against the bill. The bill passed favorably out of committee, and I recommended that the bill be substituted to include an “out” for the insurance company if a child receiving treatment was not improving, and that coverage caps be increased for younger children and decreased for older children.

SB0167 Alcoholic Beverage Control Amendments (Valentine) creates new master liquor licenses and rules for obtaining them. This bill provides that companies with 5 or more restaurants be given a master liquor license and have sub-licenses for individual restaurants. Sen. Valentine stated that the bill does include additional enforcement and prosecution. The bill passed favorably with a unanimous voice vote.

The empty floor – preparatory to the hard work commencing.

emptyfloor

In the Senate Health and Human Services, I presented:

SB0165 Physical Therapy Practice Act Amendments (Weiler) modifies the expiration date of a temporary license as physical therapist assistant, which the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing may grant by rule, to July 1, 2014. It passed.

In Senate Judiciary, Law and Criminal Justice, we considered:

SB0145 County Attorney Chapter Recodification (Weiler) repeals Title 17, Chapter 18, County Attorney, and replaces it with Title 17, Chapter18a, Powers and Duties of County and District Attorney. The chapter addresses duties of county and district attorneys, public prosecutors, and civil counsel, including general duties, prohibited acts, and ethical responsibilities. Passed.

SB0131 Assault Amendments (Osmond) raises the penalties for assaulting a police officer or military servicemember in uniform if the offender causes bodily harm (third degree offense) or uses a dangerous weapon or force likely to cause serious injury or death (second degree offense). Passed.

SB0052 Game Fowl Fighting Amendments (G. Davis) amends the offense of “cruelty to an animal” to include causing a game fowl to fight with a different kind of animal or creature for amusement or gain. It enacts a third degree felony penalty for abetting game fowl fighting and a class B misdemeanor for being a spectator. Tabled for a substitute bill.

SB0164 Parole Violator Centers Allocations (Robles) allows funds available in the Law Enforcement Services Account to be distributed to law enforcement agencies be used for law enforcement purposes to reduce crime in those areas with parole violator centers as well as halfway houses. Passed.

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One Comment
  1. Clinton Nielson permalink

    Can not beleive our goverment can turn loose illegal immigrants and we want to make an offence against a chicken a felony . Vote no on SB52 sub.

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