Photo credit: Texasarchitects.org
An updated map of laws and resolutions addressing ACEs science and trauma-informed policies is now available in the “Laws and Resolutions” section of Map the Movement (you can also find "Map the Movement" on the navigation bar on the ACEs Connection home page). The earliest law on the map was passed in the state of Washington in 2011, creating an ACEs science public-private partnership. The data base of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is a major source of information for this map starting in 2018. NSCL continues to track ACEs science legislation that contain the words “adverse childhood experiences.”
The number of laws enacted has increased steadily, especially in recent years. In just 2019 alone, 35 laws and resolutions in 20 states were enacted (see attached list of these recently enacted laws and resolutions and in the text below for highlights). Prior to 2019, there were nearly 60 statutes. There are no new laws so far in 2020. These numbers are based on information from various sources (including the NCSL, our own reporting, and tips from ACEsConnection members), and may not be exhaustive.
A search of the NCSL data base for pending legislation (not enacted) in the first month of 2020 yields 93 bills in 23 states. Some of these bills were introduced in 2019 and have carried over to 2020. Most state legislatures convened in January.
Here's a sample of the 35 bills that were enacted into law in 2019:
—a Colorado law (SB 195, Act. No. 190) that creates the Office of Children and Youth Behavioral Health Policy Coordination in the office of the Governor and a Commission and Advisory Council in the office and makes an appropriation of $1.5 million. The “Legislative Declaration” addresses ACEs as a risk factor for behavioral health diagnoses.
—an Iowa law (House File 766 - see page 8, ACTs Chapter 85, page 4, enacted 5/3/19) that appropriates $40,000 to support the Iowa effort to survey to identify the number of children who experience adverse childhood experiences.
—a Maine law (H. 851, Act No. 63) that directs the Commissioner of Education to convene a task force, inviting the participation of experts and interested parties, to develop guidance for kindergarten to grade 12 administrators on appropriate training and responses to childhood trauma.
—Several new laws that relate to court-involved juveniles and corrections, including resolutions in the House and Senate in Hawaii (SCR& and HCR 205) to develop a plan for visitation centers in all state correctional facilities and jails, recognizing that parental incarceration is an ACE; a law in Nevada that makes an appropriation of $3 million to support the operation of juvenile assessment centers (A 322, Act No. 493); and a Texas law (H. 650, Act No. 123) that requires correctional officers to be trained in medical and mental health care issues applicable to pregnant inmates and their unborn children.
—Two laws in New York (AB 4990, ACT No. 391 and S. 4990, Act No. 675) that require all direct-care domestic violence staff undertake consistent state-approved training in adverse childhood experiences science so that they are better prepared to provide services to clients, and a second one that requires training for day care providers with respect to adverse childhood experiences, focused on understanding trauma and on nurturing resiliency.
—a Tennessee law (HB 405, Act No. 421) that requires each local board of education to adopt a policy requiring schools within the LEA (local education agency) to perform an adverse childhood experiences assessment before suspending or expelling a student or requiring a student to attend in-school suspension or alternative school.
—a Utah law (HB 373, Act No. 446) that says “state board shall provide training that instructs school personnel on the impact of childhood trauma.”
If you would like additional information on any of these bills (or have updates or corrections) or would like to discuss ideas for potential legislative proposals in your state, please add a comment to this post or email me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).