The online version of Newsweek has a good summary near the end of this article posted tonight, headlined, "Families Cheer as Autism Bill Passes":
Last month, a compromise version of the bill was agreed to by Barton and a coalition of autism groups, including Autism Speaks, Cure Autism Now and the Autism Society of America. The new Combating Autism Act of 2006 authorizes slightly more than the $924 million in the original bill (the new amount is $945 million) but has fewer specifics about where and how the money should be spent. The bill authorizes Congress to spend the money over the next five years, but they must vote each year to appropriate the funds. "Passing the act is a necessary first step," says Craig Snyder, Cure Autism Now's chief lobbyist. "This is the battle plan to win the war against autism, and now it's the law of the land."It will be the law of the land, of course, after the president signs it.
Autism Speaks and Cure Autism Now issued a joint statement praising the Senate's action and noting that they had just agreed to merge their operations. You can read that statement here.