Fund the ABA/Medicaid Benefit!

Take Action! Tell Legislators to Fund the Medicaid ABA Benefit!

We need your help getting the Medicaid IBI/ABA funded so families utilizing Medicaid can access ABA therapy! Let our Texas Legislators know that we expect to fund the Medicaid IBI/ABA Services Benefit through Rider 21.

You might remember advocating in 2019 for the passage of the Medicaid Autism Benefit, and we expected the program would be available in Spring of 2020. Unfortunately progress stalled, and we currently need to advocate for dedicated funding for the program in the budget.

How to help!

Please send an email or call your legislators in both the Texas House and Texas Senate and tell them that the House & Senate must fund Rider 21, the Medicaid IBI/ABA Services Benefit, to support families who desperately need these intensive, life-changing therapies

1. Contact the legislator that represents you if they are on the list below. Let them know your connection to autism and that you are in their district. Find your legislators here:

2. Everyone: Contact the Chairs and Vice-Chairs in the chart below.

-House: Chair-Representative Giovanni Capriglione, Vice Chair- Representative Toni Rose.

-Senate: Chair-Senator Jane Nelson, Vice Chair-Senator Eddie Lucio

3. If you have time– please contact the remaining legislators by phone or email.

Phone calls are preferable, but we realize it may be easier to send an email for some!

We’ve developed information sheets to remind you of the history of the program and to answer any questions that legislative staff may have.

ABA Fact Sheet & Rider 21 Information Children’s Autism Program (CAP) One-Page Information Sheet

Keep in mind when making calls that many people are working from home so you may need to leave a short but informative message with your contact information for a call-back or give them that AST’s advocacy team contact information: 512-479-4199 Ext.10, or

We encourage you to tell your own stories about how important this issue is to you, but if you need one – there’s a script below.


Hello, my name is ______ .

If you’re calling/emailing a Representative: “May I speak to the staff member in charge of House Appropriations Subcommittee Article II?”

If you’re calling/emailing a Senator: “May I speak to the staff member in charge of Senate Finance Committee?”

  • Stress the importance of funding the Medicaid IBI/ABA Services Benefit
  • Use your own stories or talk about how this benefits children and teens with autism and it must be funded and implemented
  • The ASK: Please fund Rider 21, which would fund the Medicaid IBI/ABA Services Benefit, to support families who desperately need these intensive, life-changing therapies
  • Use the information to below to ask for Rider 21 to be funded, along with the modifications listed

Rider 21 as introduced in the 87th Legislature (House version only) provides legislative directive for the ABA program, and also allocates funds to support the program from both Federal matching funds and General Revenue. I, along with the Autism Society of Texas, support the inclusion of Rider 21 in the biennial budget. However, we respectfully recommend that Rider 21 from the House version be included in the proposed Senate budget with the modifications listed below:

1) We request that HHSC include a date certain of September 1st, 2021 in Rider 21, to align available funds with the start of the program. 

2) We request that the program access funds from the Medicaid Children’s Autism Program to provide flexible funding via the next supplemental budget for greater flexibility and efficiency in running the program, as well as helping to accurately project the program’s future needs in both funding and in the numbers of children served.

3) Proposed rates set by HHSC are too low to build and maintain an ABA provider base. Rates must be sustainable and realistic for providers to accept children under this program. 

4) We ask that funding is maintained for the Children’s Autism Program and to maintain Rider 48 which provides legislative directive for funds for the Children’s Autism Program and the Texas Autism Research and Resource Center (TARRC).

Thank the staff member for their time and ask if you can send them more information on this crucial issue. You can use fact sheets above, or contact us to follow up!

SEND AN EMAIL! Email text to copy and paste can be found here: Email Text To Copy & Paste   Please sign your name and include your contact information. Copy & paste the email addresses from the charts below.

Let us know if you were successful or if AST Advocacy staff need to do any follow-ups at 512-479-4199 Ext:10 or

Who To Contact

Texas House Appropriations Committee- Subcommittee Article II  (Includes the following Representatives):

Representative Office Phone Email Address
 Capriglione, Giovanni* (512) 463-0690
 Rose, Toni* (512) 463-0664
 Dean, Jay (512) 463-0750
 Gates, Gary (512) 463-0657
 Howard, Donna (512) 463-0631
 Johnson, Ann (512) 463-0389
 Johnson, Julie (512) 463-0468
 Raney, John (512) 463-0698
 Committee Clerk-William Seilheimer (512) 463-1091

Senate Finance Committee (Includes the following Senators):

Senator Office Phone Email Address
 Senator Brandon Creighton (512) 463-0104
 Senator Charles Perry (512) 463-0128
 Senator Charles Schwertner (512) 463-0105
 Senator Dawn Buckingham (512) 463-0124
 Senator Donna Campbell (512) 463-0125
 Senator Eddie Lucio Jr.* (512) 463-0127
 Senator Jane Nelson* (512) 463-0112
 Senator Joan Huffman (512) 463-0117
 Senator John Whitmire (512) 463-0115
 Senator Kelly Hancock (512) 463-0109
 Senator Larry Taylor (512) 463-0111
 Senator Lois Kolkhorst (512) 463-0118
 Senator Paul Bettencourt (512) 463-0107
 Senator Robert Nichols (512) 463-0103
 Senator Royce West (512) 463-0123

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