The advocacy group Autism Speaks reports on its legislative update website that President Bush is expected to sign the Combating Autism Act by Dec. 21. You can see the brief notice here. Once the president signs the bill the legislation would set the stage for $945 million in federal funding -- a 50 percent increase -- for more services to diagnose and treat people with autism and also funds for research into the disorder.
Several media reports have noted that the president's signing the bill does not automatically release these funds over the next five years. There will continue to be appropriations battles along the way, notes a federal budget expert in this NBC News report posted after Congress passed the bill. That potential battle for dollars means of course that advocates for those with autism would need to keep fighting for government support.
For background about the Combating Autism Act, you can click here.