Group Names Morelle “Legislator of the Year” for Leadership on Autism

February 14, 2012

Assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle (D-Irondequoit) today received the "Legislator of the Year Award" from Families Together in New York State in recognition of Morelle’s sponsorship of a landmark autism bill. Families Together is a statewide, parent-governed organization that addresses issues related to children’s mental health services.

The bill, which requires health insurance providers to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, was approved unanimously by the legislature last summer and signed by Governor Cuomo in November.

“One of the gratifying aspects of this effort was the support I received from advocacy groups like Families Together,” Morelle said. “We all recognized that autism is a real and increasingly common childhood disorder affecting thousands of families in New York, and that it was time for insurance policies to reflect that reality. I’m proud to have played a part in making that happen.”

“Families Together appreciates the dedication of Assemblyman Morelle to this issue,” said Families Together Executive Director Paige Pierce. “He clearly listens to his constituents and is first and foremost concerned with their well-being. His leadership on the autism legislation last year helped hundreds if not thousands of families access much-needed services.”

The autism health insurance law takes effect on Nov. 1 of 2012.