Lawmaker Stops Blocking Autism Bill

A lawmaker who held up a bill mandating insurance coverage for children's autism therapy, angering fellow lawmakers, backed down Thursday.   State Sen. Trip Pittman (R-Montrose), chairman of the General Fund budget committee, stunned observers by suggesting he might not report the bill out, despite a 14-2 vote in favor of the measure.  Senators who support the bill reacted with outrage.   Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) called it disgraceful, and threatened to grind the entire session to a halt.    Senate leader Del Marsh (R-Anniston) intervened, and Pittman capitulated.    Marsh promises a floor vote on the bill next week.    The bill passed the House 100-0.    45 states have similar laws.

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