Establishes the Hawaii Autism Center of Excellence within the
University of Hawaii.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that:
 2      (1)  Infantile autism and autism spectrum disorders are
 3           biologically-based developmental disorders that cause
 4           severe impairments in language and communication, and
 5           generally manifest in young children in the first two
 6           years of life;
 7      (2)  The devastation of life caused by autism lasts a
 8           lifetime due to the emotional and financial distress
 9           that families experience;
10      (3)  Persons suffering from autism need intense support
11           throughout their lives;
12      (4)  Three quarters of persons with infantile autism spend
13           their adult lives in institutions or group homes,
14           usually entering by age thirteen;
15      (5)  The cost of caring for persons with autism and autism
16           spectrum disorder is great -- an estimated $2,500,000 a
17           year in the State for direct costs only;
18      (6)  The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
19           estimates that one in five hundred individuals in the

Page 2                                                     2108
                                     H.B. NO.           

 1           State are affected by autism, although this figure may
 2           be underestimated due to lack of accurate diagnostic
 3           procedures;
 4      (7)  Infantile autism is the third most common developmental
 5           disorder and is more prevalent than Down's Syndrome,
 6           childhood cancer, or cystic fibrosis;
 7      (8)  Autism research receives less than five per cent of
 8           total funds from the federal government;
 9      (9)  There has been little biomedical research into autism,
10           in spite of the fact that scientists consider autism to
11           be one of the most congenital of all developmental
12           disorders and most likely to yield the latest
13           scientific advancements in genetics and neurology;
14     (10)  The lack of research has been due to forty years of
15           neglect by the scientific community, arising from
16           outmolded attitudes and beliefs about autism;
17     (11)  The neglect in research and funding has left an entire
18           generation of autistic children without beneficial
19           treatment;
20     (12)  Recent rapid advances in biomedical science suggests
21           that effective treatment and a cure for autism is
22           attainable, if there is sufficient funding for
23           research;

Page 3                                                     2108
                                     H.B. NO.           

 1     (13)  The diverse symptoms and etiology of autism require a
 2           high level of expertise and interaction in a wide
 3           variety of scientific fields, from genetics to
 4           neurology, neuroimaging, immunology, and
 5           gastroenterology to discover effective treatments and a
 6           cure;
 7     (14)  Hawaii cannot wait any longer to commit resources to
 8           research into autism so that another generation of
 9           autistic children will not be lost to society;
10     (15)  Other states have established autism research centers,
11           including nationally recognized centers in California,
12           Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, and New
13           York, and these centers attract funding from the
14           National Institutes of Health; and
15     (16)  Hawaii can receive federal funding for autism research
16           if a research center is established.
17      The purpose of this Act is to establish a center for autism
18 research.
19      SECTION 2.  Chapter 304, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
20 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to
21 read as follows:
22      "304-    Autism research.  There is established the Hawaii
23 autism center of excellence, within the University of Hawaii at

Page 4                                                     2108
                                     H.B. NO.           

 1 Manoa.  The center shall serve as a central clinical and academic
 2 resource for state-of-the-art autism spectrum disorder diagnostic
 3 assessment, therapeutic and educational interventions,
 4 consultation, training, and applied clinical research.  The
 5 center shall endeavor to find a cure for autism and develop
 6 effective treatments.  Research shall be a multidisciplinary
 7 effort among the various medical, biomedical, and behavioral
 8 disciplines, including but not limited to, pediatrics,
 9 psychiatry, neurology, developmental psychology, special
10 education, speech-communications, occupational and physical
11 therapy, social work, and nursing.  The center shall:
12      (1)  Apply for federal funding and charitable foundation
13           grants;
14      (2)  Serve the autism population of the State for the
15           purposes of this section;
16      (3)  Seek to attain national recognition as the pre-eminent
17           institution for autism spectrum disorder research; and
18      (4)  Involve and interact with the public and private
19           sectors for the purposes of this section."
20      SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general revenue
21 of the State of Hawaii the sum of $          , or so much thereof
22 as may be necessary for fiscal year 2000-2001, for start-up
23 funding of the Hawaii autism center of excellence.

Page 5                                                     2108
                                     H.B. NO.           

 1      SECTION 4.  The sum appropriated shall be expended by the
 2 University of Hawaii at Manoa for the purpose of this Act.
 3      SECTION 5.  New statutory material is underscored.
 4      SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2000.
 6                       INTRODUCED BY:  ___________________________