Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Rick Mayes


In the spring of 2011, Virginia's legislature passed its first autism insurance mandate via Senate Bill 1062 and House Bill 2467. As a legislative intern for Senator Janet Howell - the primary sponsor of SB 1062 - I was able to track the mandate from beginning to end. I observed conferences between Senator Howell and representatives from autism advocacy groups, I sat in on various Senate and House committee meetings, I carefully reviewed changes in the mandate's text when Senator Howell compressed her two original autism bills into one new bill in order to match Delegate Greason's HB 2467, and I watched as the votes were counted and the mandate was passed on both the Senate and House floors.