Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) was named The Arc California and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Legislator of the Year for 2012. The Arc of the United States and UCP established the Disability Policy Collaboration to jointly focus on legislative and legal issues improving the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families.
Senator Pavley said, “I would like to thank The Arc and UCP for recognizing my legislative and community achievements in developmental disability rights. As a longtime advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities in the State Legislature, and a parent of a child with autism, I am honored to receive this award.”
Senator Pavley has authored several bills for the disabled community, including this year’s Senate Bill 1381, a bill to remove the “R-word” from CA state law. This was an important bill for the disabled community and was recently signed into law by Governor Brown. The “R-Word,” known to be a form of hate speech towards people with Intellectual and developmental disabilities, is scheduled to be replaced by the new nationally recognized clinical terminology, Intellectual Disability.
Last year, Senator Pavley worked with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) on SB 946, which became law and requires health plans and health insurance policies to cover behavioral health therapy for individuals with pervasive developmental disorder or autism. In 2006, while serving in the Assembly, Senator Pavley authored AB 2513, a law creating the California Autism Information and Professional Development Center. This center develops important recommendations for improving autism instruction in California’s public schools.
As a member of the “family caucus” – a coalition of four members who each has a family member with an intellectual disability – the Senator helped boost the 2006 budget for persons with developmental disabilities by $42 million dollars. This money created hundreds of jobs for Californians with developmental disabilities and has been considered the most successful funding increase for the developmentally disabled community in our state’s history. Overall, the family caucus’s efforts brought a 3% across the board increase to disability services funding, a first of its kind, which amounted to $110 million additional dollars.
When Governor Brown proposed cutting $750 million from Developmental Services only 5 years after the 3% increase, Senator Pavley was instrumental in dramatically trimming the cut down to $174 million.
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