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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, October 1, 2019

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg proudly announces today that The Smith-Doyle Autism CARES Act of 2019, (HR 1058), was signed into law by the President after being approved unanimously by the United States Senate following July passage by U.S. House of Representatives.


The act was supported by a bi-partisan group of 47 state attorneys general and, once enacted, will authorize autism-related programs at National Institutes of Health (NIH) at $296 million, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at $23.1 million, and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) at $50.6 million annually.


The Smith-Doyle bill also helps adults with autism who are often misdiagnosed, underdiagnosed and overlooked and emphasizes that causes, diagnosis, detection, prevention and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) must be available throughout the lifespan of a person with autism. According to Drexel University’s AJ Drexel Autism Center, about 70,700 to 111,600 children “age out” into adulthood each year creating challenges for education, housing, employment and access to health care.


“The CDC estimates that 1 in 110 individuals have an Autism Spectrum Disorder, that puts approximately 8,000 South Dakotans in the ASD category,” said Ravnsborg.  “I am proud to be a part of this bi-partisan appeal to help insure that adults with autism will be able to continue receiving services and support they need.  I am equally pleased to note that the act will empower the Health and Human Services Secretary to prioritize grants to ‘rural and underserved areas’.”


The most recent version of this bill can be found at The Smith-Doyle Autism CARES Act of 2019.



The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the State of South Dakota and provides legal advice to agencies, boards, and commissions of the State as well as representing the State in state and federal court.  The Office of Attorney General also handles prosecutions, felony criminal appeals, civil matters, consumer protection issues, and issues formal opinions interpreting statutes for agencies of the state.  Visit to learn more.  


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CONTACT: Tim Bormann, Chief of Staff, (605) 773-3215