Virginia | Autism Politics, News & History

Virginia | Autism Politics, Divergent News & History

Virginia became the 26th state to enact autism insurance reform on May 6, 2011.

The reform forced insurance providers to cover Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). ABA is known as Autistic Conversion Therapy in the Autistic Community. 

The Autism Votes initiative was powered by Autism Speaks and other non-Autistic parent-founded autism organizations.

The ’autism community’ referenced in articles here is a different community than the Autistic community. The ’autism community’ prevented Autistics from participating in legislation, Autistic healthcare initiatives and more in a meaningful manner. Instead, Autistics are used as a prop or token in these initiatives. 

Autism Insurance Reform that included ABA was being protested by Autistics as it was being hailed by non-Autistics in the ’autism community.’ These non-Autistic parent-founded organizations and people didn’t listen to Autistics then, and they aren’t listening now.  

When this legislation was implemented, Autistics were silenced in the national conversation, and our civil, human and disabled rights circumvented or denied. 

Today, in every state, Autistics and our real allies are working hard to introduce legislation to get ABA banned.

We will be heard. 

Virginia Legislative History

Governor McAuliffe Joined by Virginia Advocates for ABLE Signing (April 14, 2015)

Virginia Becomes First State to Enact ABLE Program in 2015 (March 20, 2015)

Virginia Autism Insurance Reform Heads to Governor’s Desk  (Feb. 27, 2015)

Bill To Improve VA Insurance Law Wins Autism Speaks Endorsement (Jan. 14, 2015)

Military Families Stage Rally to Keep ABA (July 21, 2013)

Autism Speaks, VAP Respond to New ABA Regulations  (July 18, 2013)

Board of Medicine Issues Emergency BCBA Regulations (June 25, 2012)

Gov. McDonnell Signs Bill Protecting ABA Coverage Under State’s Autism Insurance (Feb. 7, 2012)


FAQ on Law (2011)


Virginia Autism Law

HB 2467 (as passed by the House)

SB 1062


Is It Time For Autism Insurance? – by John and Jennifer Maloney, Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 4, 2009

Autism Politics

Virginia enacted autism insurance reform on May 6, 2011.

LegislationHB 1588SB 1062HB 2467

People: Robert MarshallDavid PoissonBob McDonnellJanet HowellTag GreasonTim Hugo, Teresa Champion

Also: Virginia Autism Project,

Virginia Bill History   

February 7, 2012:  Governor McDonnell signs HB.1106 into law.

January 30, 2012: HB.1106 approved unanimously by Senate, sent to Governor McDonnell

January 26, 2012: HB.1106 voted unanimously out of Senate Education and Health Committee; Senate floor vote next

January 20, 2012: HB-1106 approved 96-1 by the House, sent to the Senate.

January 17, 2012:  HB.1106 voted out of House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions 21-0; House floor vote next

January 12, 2012:  House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions conducts hearing on HB.1106 to correct a technical flaw in law.

May 6, 2011: Governor Robert McDonnell signs autism insurance reform into law making Virginia state # 26.

April 6, 2011: Senate concurs 39-1 with Governor’s first four recommendations, rejects fifth recommendation. House concurs 84-10 with Senate. Bill returns to Governor McDonnell’s desk for signature and enactment.  

March 26, 2011: Governor McDonnell returns SB.1062 to the Senate with five recommendations.

February 21, 2011SB.1062 signed by Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling as President of the Senate; sent to the Governor to be signed into law.

February 17, 2011SB 1062 reconciled and passed by the House.

February 17, 2011: HB 2467 reconciled and passed by the Senate.  Bill is sent to the Governor to be signed into law.

February 15, 2011: SB 1062 voted out of House Commerce & Labor Committee; advances to House floor

February 14, 2011: HB 2467 voted out of Senate Commerce & Labor Committee, advances to Senate floor

February 8, 2011: SB. 1062  passed by the Senate. The bill moves to the House, referred to the Labor & Commerce Committee

February 2, 2011: SB 1062 voted out of Senate Finance Committee; advances to Senate floor

February 2, 2011: HB. 2467 passed by the House and moves the Senate; referred to Senate Labor & Commerce Committee

January 31, 2011: Senate Labor & Commerce Committee merges SB.1061 and 1062 into SB 1062 and refers the bill to the Senate Finance Committee

January 27, 2011: House Labor & Commerce Committee merges House bills into HB. 2467, votes 16-6 to send the bill to the House Floor! 

January 12, 2011: Autism insurance reform bills are introduced in the Senate (SB.1061 and 1062) and the House of Delegates (HB. 2467 and 2512) 

March 13, 2010Legislative session ends without passage of autism insurance reform.

February 23, 2010: SB 464 is tabled indefinitely in the House Commerce & Labor Subcommittee

February 16, 2010: Senate approves SB 464 by a vote of 27 to 13!

February 15, 2010: Senate Labor & Commerce Committee passes SB 464 in vote of 11 to 4; bill moves to the Senate floor

February 2, 2010: House Labor & Commerce subcommittee voted 5-4 in favor of HB 303, bill moves to full committee

January 13, 2010: 2010 session opens with introduction of new autism insurance reform bills, HB 303 by Delegate O’Bannon and SB 464 by Senator Howell

March 3, 2009: 2009 session ends without passage of HB 1588/ SB 1260.

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The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community

* The “autism community” is not the Autistic Community. The autism community was created by non-Autistic led organizations and includes mostly parents, professionals and their friends. Most of what the world knows about autism is sourced from the non-Autistic “autism community.”

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