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2016-17 Autism Legislation

The new 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

  • 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
  • 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

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

Housing

  • Urges revision of DHS Statewide Transition Plan – SR16

Awareness

  • Designates April 2nd of each year as "World Autism Awareness Day."– AJR54

2014-15 Autism Legislation

Recently-Enacted Legislation

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

Bus Safety

  • Requires autism training for bus drivers and aides – A1029/S274
    Signed into law 11/9/15.  Read more>>

Public Safety/Law Enforcement

  • "MVP Emergency Alert System" (establishes alert similar to Amber Alert and Silver Alert for missing vulnerable persons) – S2668/A4270
    Signed into law 1/11/16  P.L.2015, c.184.  Read more>>
  • Increasing penalties for those who endanger adults with developmental disabilities – S2940/A4531
    Signed into law 1/11/16  P.L.2015, c.186   Read more>>

Finance/Savings

  • ABLE Act (tax-free disability savings accounts) – S2770/A3956
    Signed into law 1/11/16  P.L.2015, c. 185 Read more>>

Adult Services 

  • Limits to DDD's "Return Home New Jersey" Policy - S3117/A4781
    Signed into law 1/11/16 P.L.2015, c. 192 Read more>>

Special Education

  • Establishes Office of the Special Education Ombudsman in DOE -- S451/A1103
    Signed into law 1/19/16 P.L.2015, c.219 Read more>>

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