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Rutledge seeks Congressional action for autism services

Rutledge seeks Congressional action for autism services

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Arkansas Attorney General says familes deserve support

Arkansas Attorney General’s Office LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a bipartisan coalition of 47 attorneys general calling upon Congress to authorize the Autism CARES Act of 2019. This legislation provides ongoing federal support for research into autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and services to those affected by these conditions.

“All Arkansas families deserve the support and resources for their loved ones who are on the autism spectrum,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “More research and services are necessary to address the needs of our rapidly increasing population of Americans on the autism spectrum.”

A previous version of this legislation is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2019. The Autism CARES Act of 2019 currently exists as H.R.

1058 in the U.S. House of Representatives and S.

427 in the U.S. Senate.

Congress began addressing autism in 2000 with the first enactment of the bill. The Autism CARES Act of 2019 will continue Congress’ ongoing mission to ensure that those living with ASD receive the necessary support and research.

In addition to Arkansas, the letter was co-lead by attorneys general in Indiana and Mississippi and signed on to by Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, the District of Columbia and territories.

In other news from the Attorney General’s Office:

• Attorney General Rutledgeannounced the arrest of a Yell County man and woman for felony charges for falsely claiming Social Security Income Benefits for their severely impaired infant daughter while she was in the custody of the State.

Briggsville residents, Bobby Joe Lloyd, 39, and Jessica Norwood, 23, were each arrested and charged with theft of property by deception and criminal conspiracy to commit theft of property by deception. After the birth of their daughter who suffered from severe medical impairments in September 2018, Lloyd and Norwood lost custody of their daughter to the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Norwood allegedly filed and was approved for Supplemental Security Income Benefits in October 2018, claiming the child was in her custody. Lloyd subsequently applied to be the representative payee and also claimed the couple had custody of their daughter. Lloyd and Norwood allegedly received social security benefits totaling $5,397 between June 13, and Aug. 1, 2019, to care for their infant daughter who was actually in state custody.

“We must hold people accountable who take advantage of taxpayers to ensure these benefits are available to those who need and deserve them,” said Rutledge.

• Rutledge announced a bipartisan, public/private coalition with every state attorneys general and the District of Columbia along with 12 phone companies, an agreement to adopt eight principles to fight illegal robocalls. This agreement sets the framework of prevention and enforcement by protecting phone users from illegal robocalls and making it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors.

“Today’s announcement was a collaborative effort between public sector and private industry to protect Arkansans by utilizing all available technology to stop these illegal calls,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I have lead the charge in Arkansas by working with telecom providers to hold them accountable and ensure providers are implementing technology to stop these criminals from robbing the citizens of Arkansas and Americans of their hard earned money.”

Phone companies will work to prevent illegal robocalls by implementing call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers to authenticate that callers are coming from a valid source and working with law enforcement to trace the origins of illegal robocalls.

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