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Santabarbara-sponsored autism support bill signed into law

Santabarbara-sponsored autism support bill signed into law

A bill sponsored by a local state assemblyman that will lead to a state autism action plan has be...
Santabarbara-sponsored autism support bill signed into law
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara greets supporters at the Hibernian Hall in Schenectady with his wife Jennifer at right on November 8.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

A bill sponsored by a local state assemblyman that will lead to a state autism action plan has been signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The measure sponsored by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, creates the state’s first Autism Spectrum Disorder Advisory Board to develop, implement and update a statewide Autism Action Plan.

The plan will create a central location for autism services and incorporates new information on the condition as it becomes available.

The bill passed both houses of the Legislature by a unanimous vote this past spring, part of an effort by Santabarbara to have the state create and administer service delivery models to support child and adults on the autism spectrum, including helping find them employment and independent living opportunities. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the law on Monday.

“Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the country, and there is a crisis for support services that needs immediate attention. With this bill signed into law, New York is taking a critical step to help find solutions to the challenges families affected by autism face each day,” Santabarbara said.

“I speak passionately about this legislation that has the potential to help thousands of families affected by autism and I’m happy to see New York State take action on such an important issue that affects so many,” said Santabarbara, who has a 15-year-old son, Michael, was diagnosed with autism at age three.

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