Governor signs Riley Ward Bill into law

Published 11:07 am Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gov. Bob Riley has signed the Riley Ward Bill into law. Named for the 6-year-old autistic daughter of State Rep. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster), the new law establishes the Alabama Interagency Autism Coordinating Council to streamline the state’s efforts in assisting autistic children.

Ward said the council will oversee all autism policy in Alabama and will allow for the hiring of a state autism coordinator.

Ward, an advocate for raising awareness of autism and autism spectrum disorder, expressed his gratitude to Gov. Riley, Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom, Speaker of the House Seth Hammett and his congressional colleagues for their support.

“We have come miles in Alabama in the last few years in bring the discussion of autism to the forefront,” he said. “This measure will bring Alabama into the mainstream in getting help to those who have languished in the darkness for so many years.”