Friday, October 14, 2016

Survey Response: Paul Shulte Candidate UT House 39

Survey Response Paul Shulte:  Candidate UT House 39

Candidates for the November 2016 elections were given the opportunity to answer a few questions relating to autism.  The following are Paul Shulte's responses.

Health Insurance:  In 2014, the Utah legislature passed a law requiring some state-regulated health insurance plans to cover autism, including a limited amount of therapy for children ages 2-9.  This law went into effect in 2016 and will sunset in 2019.  Would you consider renewing it or expanding it in any way, such as increasing age or coverage limits?

Paul Shulte:   I would definitely support children getting the appropriate counseling. I would be interested in increasing the age.

Medicaid:  In the past year, Medicaid has begun covering autism up to age 21 for people who meet the income requirements.  What is your position on Medicaid expansion?

Paul Shulte:  I would like to see full Medicaid expansion.

Education:  Special Education is very important to students who need it.  Utah “needs assistance” when it comes to meeting the requirements of IDEA.  What would you change about the Utah education system, both in general and special education?

Paul Shulte:   I believe we need to aggressively get more funding for education to meet the needs of all children. This is the most important issue for our state!

Financial Planning:  Utah passed legislation in 2015 to help disabled Utahns and their families plan for the future through ABLE accounts (similar to 529 college savings plans).  They are not yet available.  Do you support efforts to make sure that disabled Utahns can access ABLE accounts?

Paul Shulte:  I support access to ABLE accounts.

Police:  People with autism may have difficulty understanding and complying with police orders.  They may also be prone to meltdowns or be overwhelmed by lights and sirens.  Two examples of where this can lead are reported here and here.  Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trained officers are recognized to be the most capable of responding to situations involving the mentally ill, and Utah has an excellent CIT program.  The Utah 911 board has considered adopting a system (Smart911) that, in addition to other benefits, would help ensure that CIT officers are dispatched when needed by letting citizens pre-register with 911 and sharing their information with dispatchers and officers when a call is made.  What are your thoughts on the CIT program?  Would you support the adoption of a system like Smart911?

Paul Shulte:  Law enforcement officer need to be provided training on how to work with citizens that have disabilities to ensure fair treatment and safety for all.

Personal experience:  The autism rate in Utah is 1 in 54.  Your family and social circle doesn’t have to be very large before it includes someone with autism.  If you want to share any personal or professional experience with autism, please do so.

Paul Shulte:   I am a life long educator with over 31 years of experience. I was a special education teacher for 12 years. I became a teacher to help students with special needs. I have worked
with many students with autism.