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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mandate Legislation in Utah and Georgia

The Salt Lake Tribune reports on SB55, a Utah mandate measure by Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Çottonwood Heights:
Proven therapies involve applied behavior analysis (ABA), but Utah also runs short on ABA trained and certified therapists. Late last week, Shiozawa broadened his bill to allow state-licensed mental health providers to administer treatment as well.
That should help, Shiozawa said in a recent email.
"However, until we approve a mandate, few additional (ABA) therapists will train since there will be limited reimbursement," he added.
Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, cautiously voted to advance the measure out of committee last week, weary of complaints he’d fielded about the inadequacies of the pilot programs.
"The mandates have the potential to hurt small businesses," Weiler said, favoring a compromise that would extend the $50,000 coverage to age 12, and then decrease funding to $10,000 or $15,000 for older teens.
Another idea Weiler suggested was to cover three years of treatment for any child and "then you’re on your own."
"My goal is to mainstream these kids so they can have careers and go to college," Weiler said by phone Monday.
His senate colleagues remain divided on the measure.
"People are either for it or against it," he said. "Not many are sitting on the fence."

WJBF-TV reports on Ava's Law in Georgia: