Autism research bill signed into law by President Donald Trump

Autism research bill signed into law by President Donald Trump

By:  Keldy Ortiz
The Record


The Autism CARES Act, a bill which was co-sponsored by a New Jersey lawmaker, was signed into law Monday by President Donald Trump.

The Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act (CARES) provides $1.8 billion in funding for autism programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and Health Resources and Services Administration.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith, R-Mercer, and Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa. The bill was authored by Sen. Bob Menendez.

“The Autism CARES Act recognizes the problem of aging out and ensures that the federal government continues to help hundreds of thousands of young adults with autism and their parents by funding research and support programs,” Smith said in a statement. "Aging out of services is a hurdle every parent or caretaker of a child with autism inevitably faces.”

In New Jersey, one in every 34 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, the CDC reported. 

Smith has worked on issues related to autism since 1997, when parents Bobbie and Billy Gallagher from Brick spoke with him about whether the government was addressing the issue.

“Individuals with autism and their families are a federal priority, and the Autism CARES Act is a smart investment that will help individuals with autism today and for generations to come,” said Suzanne Buchanan, executive director of Autism New Jersey. “Their work across the aisle and tireless efforts to retain critical components of the legislation remind us what is right and good about our federal government.”