NC Lawmakers File Bill to Reduce Regulations to Help Children with Autism
Raleigh, NC – Today, Representative John Bell (R-Wayne) and Senator Jim Perry (R-Lenoir) filed companion legislation (HB 91 and SB 103) to reduce and streamline unnecessary regulations to improve and expand access to care for children with autism.
Currently, North Carolina is the only state in the country where behavior analysts who provide highly effective treatment to children with autism are unable to practice independently. Under state regulations, qualified professionals must operate under the supervision of licensed psychologists.
This had led to fewer providers, long wait lists, higher costs and reduced access to treatment for children with autism, particularly in rural areas. Furthermore, North Carolina has had difficulty in recruiting and retaining behavior analysts to a state where they are unable to independently practice.
“I am pleased to join my colleagues in filing this important bill and continuing former Representative Chuck McGrady’s efforts to improve care for children with autism,” said Representative Bell. “Our bill will allow behavior analysts to operate independently as they are qualified to do and provide treatment directly to those in need. This will help expand access to timely and quality treatment for those in need.”
“By streamlining these regulations, our legislation will improve access to treatment and reduce costs for children with autism in North Carolina,” said Senator Perry. “It will also put North Carolina on the same level as other states, which will help recruit more providers and cut down on wait times. This is a huge win for these families, especially in rural areas that are in desperate need for more providers.”
Senate Bill 103 primary sponsors include Senators Jim Perry (R-Lenoir), Michael Lee (R-New Hanover) and Lisa Stone Barnes (R-Nash). House Bill 91 primary sponsors include Representatives John Bell (R-Wayne), Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth), Dr. Kristin Baker (R-Cabarrus) and Jason Saine (R-Lincoln).