Public Policy and Practice   |   Update: June 9, 2011

CalABA's public policy advocacy work continues, but the Behavior Analyst Licensure Bill (AB 1205) is no longer in play.

Despite our strong efforts, the Assembly Appropriations Committee did not pass AB 1205 onto the full Assembly for a vote. In fact, no licensure bills made it out of committee -- nor did any of the bills which would have mandated coverage of health benefits. Like many other important issues, ours suffered from budgetary concerns and economic uncertainty.

This development is a blow to everyone in the ABA community and certainly to those who need ABA services provided by professionals.

The good news is that this experience has helped prepare us to be successful the next time.

We learned that your phone calls and letters make a difference. These letters and phone calls educated our elected officials about Applied Behavior Analysis and demonstrated the strength and commitment of our community.

We learned that we have many allies outside the ABA profession. You spoke with families who receive ABA services, public administrators who work at regional centers and school districts, teachers who work with individuals with special needs, physicians who prescribe ABA treatment, and attorneys who advocate for needed services. They raised their voices with us. We ALL see the critical need for licensure for behavior analysts based on demonstrated, objective standards which reflect training and experience (BACB).

We learned that we must continue to grow the CalABA Political Action Committee and CalABA Public Policy. Your contributions to the CalABA PAC and CalABA's public policy efforts helped us inform others about ABA and develop relationships with elected representatives. All of this will ultimately help us to achieve our goals.

Now is our chance to regroup.

We will have another opportunity to pass the Behavior Analyst Licensure Bill doing so remains an urgent priority. As long as ABA professionals do not receive a state license, many health plans will continue to deny coverage for ABA services, practitioners will not have the same status or legitimacy as other licensed professionals, and consumers will lack basic legal protections.

CalABA is committed to supporting public policies that protect the field of Applied Behavior Analysis and make ABA services more accessible to those who need it.

There will be a Senate Hearing on July 13, 2011 about health plan coverage for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. We will need our community to speak loudly and clearly about the need to license behavior analysts. More information will be made available about the Senate Hearing soon and how your voice can be heard.

CalABA will also be organizing meetings and trainings later this year to help protect our practice and science. Our focus will continue to be outreach, education, and activism. Come and learn how to be a part of CalABA's advocacy, legislative, and practice efforts.

Stay tuned. We need YOU!

The CalABA Public Policy Committee