Thursday, July 10, 2014

Survey Response: Rep. Brian King, Utah House 28

Rep. Brian King
Candidates for the November 2014 elections were given the opportunity to respond to a few questions relating to autism. The following responses are from Representative Brian King, Utah House District 28.

Insurance Coverage:   SB57 was passed in the 2014 legislative session. It goes into effect on January 1, 2016, and among other things, will require individual and large group plans to cover a limited amount of behavioral therapy for autistic children through age 9. The bill has a sunset clause which will cause it to expire on January 1, 2019. 

Would you support renewal or expansion of SB57 if the costs prove to be manageable?

Brian King:    
I was happy to see SB 57 pass and voted in favor of it. The Carmen Pingree school is located in the district I represent and is only a few blocks from my home. I would support the extension of SB 57 in 2018 if costs are manageable.

WanderingWandering (or elopement) is an issue that affects around half of children with ASD, as well as many people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. There are substantial costs involved with search efforts that often require emergency personnel. There are also promising technologies, such as smartphones, GPS, and Bluetooth, which can help with tracking these individuals. 

 Would you support efforts to:
  • better understand the extent of the wandering problem in Utah
  • promote training for emergency personnel
  • identify technological solutions and help make them affordable for caregivers
Brian King 
I also support greater resources being provided to understand the extent of the wandering problem and what we can do to keep those on the autism spectrum, especially kids, safe and allow their caregivers training and some respite.

Education: Education is a priority for many UAC members. Kids on the spectrum often require special education resources.

What do you see as the current state of the Utah education system, including Special Ed, and what steps would you support to improve it?

Brian King:   
Both for public ed generally and for resources for helping kids on the spectrum, I support greater funding and other resources for our public education system.

Housing and Employment: When autistic people transition out of the public school system, many of them need help with housing and employment. According to the 2013 Annual Report of the Utah Division of Services for People with Disabilities, Over 5,000 Utahns received services, and 80% of them had an intellectual disability. Another 1,892 Utahns are on the waiting list.

Would you support steps to improve housing and employment opportunities for individuals with autism?

Brian King:  
I support greater funding and attention being provided in housing and employment. I work closely with the legislative coalition for people with disabilities in doing what we can to assist these individuals maximize what they can contribute to our society and their own well-being and happiness.