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Phelps Fights for Funding for Autism Programs

State Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, is fighting to protect vital services for Southern Illinois families grappling with autism as programs continue to be cut by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

“Hardworking Southern Illinois families who have children and loved ones with Autism should not be made to suffer because the governor would rather cut services to Southern Illinois than make reforms to government in Springfield and Chicago,” Phelps said. “April is Autism Awareness Month and it is important that we acknowledge and support those who are diagnosed on the autism spectrum disorder.”

Autism Awareness Month began nearly 25 years ago as a national effort to promote autism awareness for those who have been identified to be on the ASD spectrum. The goal was to allow the general public to adopt a new perspective when it came to discussing what it meant to be autistic and to ensure that individuals who were on the ASD spectrum would be given the same opportunity as everyone else to obtain the best quality of life.

Organizations such as The Autism Clinic (formerly known as TAP) have had to cut programs for nearly 1,800 families across the state. The Autism Clinic has begun billing families insurance that use their services to keep their doors open because they are not receiving state funding. Phelps is fighting to keep these services open and has recently signed onto House Bill 4628 that will provide more funds to go to Autism Research Fund from Illinois Lottery.

“I believe in working to provide more funding for autism research and I think that this bill will provide significant impact in funds that will able to do such vital work,” Phelps said. “I will continue to fight for Southern Illinois families and ensure that our families are no longer the ones shouldering the state’s debt problems.”

Brandon Phelps represents the 118th District in the Illinois General Assembly, which includes all or portions of Alexander, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, and Union counties.