Autism Light Classic
Updated on May 30, 2015.
Autism Light #135 is Marco Rubio.
The Honorable Marco Rubio serves as a member of the United Sates Senate, representing the state of Florida. He has served in the Senate since 2010. He was born on May 28, 1971, in Miami, Florida to Cuban immigrants, who came to America in 1958 (Rubio Biography). Sen. Rubio's passion to help those with autism has been evident through his advocacy and leadership on behalf of autism friendly legislation. Sen. Marco Rubio is an Autism Light because his political leadership has been a light to those with autism. This light for autism has shone brightly in both the Florida State House and in the United States Senate.
Presidential Candidate: On April 13, 2015, Marco Rubio declared his candidacy to run for President of the United States in the 2016 election. In conjunction with this he will not be seeking re-election to the Senate seat from Florida he has held since 2010.
Puzzle Pieces of Our Community: On October 14, 2011, Sen. Marco Rubio's longtime political efforts for the cause of autism were recognized at a "Puzzle Pieces of Our Community" event sponsored by Autism Speaks. The following is a video of a portion of the keynote speech Sen. Rubio gave at this event.
Florida Autism Insurance Legislation: Sen. Marco Rubio represented the 111th District of the Florida House of Representatives from 2000-2008. He served as the Speaker of the House for the 2007-2008 session. On April 4, 2008, he helped create the House Select Committee on Autism and Developmental Disorders in the Florida Legislator. As Speaker of the Florida House, Sen. Rubio was instrumental in passing legislation for autism insurance reform in Florida in 2008. The Florida House in 2008 had passed a piece of legislation that would mandate insurance coverage for many children with autism and other disabilities. However, the Florida Senate rejected that measure and offered a bill back to the House that only covered 14% of the cases of autism and no other disabilities. Though disappointed and noticeably moved by the number of children with autism and other disabilities left uncovered in the Senate version of the bill, Sen. Rubio advocated adopting it. He felt that helping some children was better than rejecting the bill and helping none. The following is a video of that emotional vote in the Florida House with Speaker Rubio's remarks, including support from Rep. Gardner, the father of a child with Downs Syndrome (a condition not covered in the final bill).
100 Ideas Conference: Following his service in the Florida House in 2008, Sen. Marco Rubio's work for autism continued as he sponsored a 100 Ideas Conference on Autism in September, 2008. The Autism Health and Wellness Blog reported on the conference and said the following:
The Autism Wellness Foundation viewed Speaker Rubio's 100 Ideas conference as extremely beneficial to promoting better options for children with autism, not least because of the conference's goal to implement the best of ideas raised (the top 100 of them, to be precise).Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011: Sen. Marco Rubio was a co-sponsor of the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011 (CARA), which President Barak Obama signed into law on September 30, 2011. The support for CARA crossed party lines and was also sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez, Autism Light #54.
Wristband: The Autism Policy and Politics blog reported that Sen. Marco Rubio has a practice of wearing a wrist band in support of autism. Because of the history that Sen. Rubio has in working tirelessly for autism, his autism awareness wrist band is much more than symbolism.
Other Links: For more information on Sen. Marco Rubio visit these Websites.
Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.
Photo: The photo in this post of Sen. Marco Rubio is in the Public Domain. It was obtained from Wikipedia.