Autism Bill Passes

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On a state level the legislature ended a two-month session Friday. Not much happened that wasn't overshadowed by the state's lack of money.

One of the last things it did was send Gov. Crist an anemic budget, the smallest the state has passed in three years.

The session ended shortly after 6 with the traditional dropping of the hankies. Just before wrapping up their work, legislators gave a last-minute approval to an autism bill that is now headed to the governor.

Lawmakers are saying the bill is relief for parents with kids suffering from autism. The bill, aimed at offering insurance coverage for autistic kids, looked dead in the minutes leading up to the end of the legislative session.

Although the bill passed the finally passed the Senate, it looked like the House wasn't going to take up the issue. In dramatic fashion, Speaker of the House Marco Rubio took up the bill just moments before the 2008 legislative session ended.

Gov. Charlie Crist supported the bill was thanking everyone who helped pass the legislation, including a famous Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino.

One hang-up in the House centered on singling out autism. Rubio asked lawmakers to look at expanding coverage to children with other disabilities in the future.