Albany, NY - January 10, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed into law a bill to establish a new state license for providers of applied behavior analysis (ABA) services to individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The new law will help individuals and families find quality ABA providers that have met stringent academic and training requirements, while also ensuring State regulation and continuing oversight of these providers, who work closely with a vulnerable population.
“This bill ensures one of New York’s most vulnerable populations is better protected,” Governor Cuomo said. “I commend Assembly Majority Leader Morelle and Senator Fuschillo for their work on this issue, and am pleased to sign it into law.”
Applied behavioral analysis is an intensive, often one-on-one treatment method that is beneficial for individuals with autism. This law establishes a new state license for behavior analysts (with at least a master’s degree) and a new state certification for behavior analyst assistants (with at least a 4-year college degree), with a protected scope of practice.
Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos said, “Today, we are building upon the landmark insurance reform legislation passed in 2011 to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses paid by the families of those with autism. This new law will help reduce costs for many more families so they can get back to focusing on their loved ones. By greatly expanding the places where individuals with autism can access the care they need, New York has taken an important step in ensuring the 2011 law we approved is applied as it was intended."
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle said, “Two years ago, I worked with Governor Cuomo and autism advocates to ensure that insurance companies cover vital treatments for those living with autism,” said Majority Leader Morelle. “By creating this new professional licensure, we have taken a major step in ensuring that the thousands of children in New York who have been diagnosed with autism can receive the therapies they deserve. I applaud the Governor, my colleagues in the legislature and the countless advocates in New York for coming together to adopt this important legislation.”
"Governor Cuomo's signature on this legislation ensures that New York families can access meaningful, quality care for their loved ones with autism," said Judith Ursitti, Autism Speaks' director of state government affairs. "We remain continually grateful to him as well as to Assemblyman Joseph Morelle and Senator Chuck Fuschillo for their thoughtfulness, collaboration and leadership without which we would not be celebrating today. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York continues to be a national leader in meeting the needs of the autism community."