JEFFERSON CITY — Children with physical and developmental disabilities will have more therapy options through legislation that passed Friday.
House Bill 399, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Basye R-Rocheport, would add additional disabilities to existing legislation that covers therapeutic treatment for children with autism.
The bill passed the Senate unanimously, its final hurdle before reaching the governor’s desk.
Molly Myers and Robyn Schelp were both in the chambers for the passage of the legislation. Their children have developmental or neurological disabilities and inspired Basye to file and continue pushing the bill over the three-year process that led to its passage.
“It’s awesome,” Schelp said about the legislation’s passing. “It’s exciting.”
Basye shared her excitement.
“I’m very happy it got passed finally,” Basye said. “But I’m more happy for the families it’s going to help, because they really do need the help. These are moms and dads who have children (with disabilities). They have insurance through their employer or whatever, but it just doesn’t provide the coverage they need to help their children with a disability.
“Now, they’re going to have that.”
The process of getting the legislation passed also inspired Schelp to go into advocacy via Missouri Disability Empowerment, a group aimed at educating, advocating and providing support for people with disabilities.
As for what’s next, Schelp said she will continue to work with Missouri Disability Empowerment.
“Right now, we just want to rest,” she said. “It’s been exhausting.”
Now the bill goes to Gov. Mike Parson.
“I’m sure the governor will sign it,” Basye said.
Kathryn Palmer contributed to this report.
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