Senators urge vote on autism bill

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Senators are asking a budget committee to vote this week on an autism bill that would require insurers to pay for an intensive therapy.

Republican Sen. Dick Brewbaker of Pike Road said Tuesday that 26 of 35 senators signed a petition asked for a committee vote this week instead of waiting. Brewbaker says the bill deserves a vote because the legislative clock is rapidly winding down

The legislation would require coverage of applied behavioral analysis therapy, an intensive and pricey treatment.

The House voted 100-0 for the bill but it stalled in the Senate after some members expressed concerns about cost.

Children can require 20 or more hours of therapy each week, but parents say it can be "life-changing."

Autism Speaks, an advocacy group, says 45 states mandate the coverage.