Update: Behavior Analyst Licensing Act Passes Through Senate Commerce Committee
December 13, 2018
On Monday, December 3rd, the Senate Commerce Committee and the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee heard testimony on the Behavior Analyst Licensing Act (S3099/A4608) sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37), Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-21), Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-16), and Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-11). As leading advocates for this legislation, Autism New Jersey and the New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis (NJABA) provided oral and written testimony in support of its passage.
Assembly Regulated Professions Committee
Chaired by Assemblyman Thomas Giblin (D-34), the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee posted the bill “for discussion only,” meaning the committee would hear testimony but not vote on the bill. A panel of experts (pictured above) including Autism New Jersey Executive Director Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, Patti Gianone (parent), Dr. Eric Rozenblat (NJABA), Dr. Robert LaRue (Rutgers University), and Dr. Patrick Progar (Princeton Child Development Institute) provided testimony and answered the committee members’ questions. The legislative committee members expressed their support of the bill and gratitude for our advocacy on such a critical issue. Update: The Behavior Analysts Licensing Act passed through the Regulated Professions Committee on Thursday, January 24, 2019.
Moments later, the Senate Commerce Committee, chaired by Senator Nellie Pou (D-35) welcomed testimony from the same panel of experts and Sarah Lynn Geiger of the New Jersey Association of Health Plans, all in support of this legislation. There was no formal opposition to the bill, only testimony by the Arc of NJ requesting a few changes to the bill. Following some brief discussion, the Senate Commerce Committee unanimously voted (5-0) to pass the bill out of committee.
The Senate version of the bill now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and, sometime in the next few months, the Assembly version will be heard in the Regulated Professions Committee for a vote. We will continue to provide updates as the bill advances through the legislative process.
We thank the following organizations for conveying their support to the Commerce and Regulated Professions committees.
- Atlantic Health System
- New Jersey Association of Community Providers (NJACP)
- New Jersey Association of Health Plans (NJAHP)