Governor Signs Portantino’s Individualized Education Plan Bill Inspired by Local Parents

Wednesday, September 28 2022

For Immediate Release: September 28, 2022

Contact: Lerna Shirinian, (818) 409-0400


Governor Signs Portantino’s Individualized Education Plan Bill Inspired by Local Parents

Sacramento, CA – Senate Bill 1016, authored by State Senator Anthony J. Portantino, (D – Burbank) was signed into law by Governor Newsom.  The measure will enhance special education services for students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).  Prior to receiving the Governor’s signature on SB 1016, FASD was not a recognized category for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).   It is also not named as a disorder under the Other Health Impaired category by the California Department of Education, which has kept this group of students from receiving the necessary care they need.  SB 1016 sought to appropriately remedy these circumstances and the discernable disparity in necessary care that came with them.

“We know that through early intervention and appropriate education services individuals with FASD can achieve their full potential and lead productive lives,” stated Senator Portantino.  “For this reason, it’s critical that we include FASD as part of special education services.  Failure to do so has detrimental effects for children and their families.  I am grateful to the parents in my district who highlighted this inequity and to Governor Newsom for supporting this important effort to help our children.”

Students with the most prevalent developmental disability in the US are being under-served in school districts across the state, with detrimental lifelong consequences.  SB 1016 requires FASD to be included under the “other health impairment” definition for Individual Education Plans (IEPs).  The bill also expands eligibility for students with FASD to receive the special education and related services they deserve and need.

“Signing SB 1016 represents an important step forward for California in recognizing and responding to tens of thousands of children and adults affected by FASD.  Implementing it effectively will move California toward the goal of meeting the needs of these children and adults and their remarkable caretakers,” stated Sid Gardner of FASD Now!

Senator Portantino the father of two daughters who went through California’s public school system has long been advocating for policies that improve education outcomes for our youth.  He has authored legislation that implements mental health education and training in schools, requires early screening for risk of dyslexia, and requires schools to print the suicide hotline on student identification cards.   Additionally, the Senator dedicated three years to pass SB 328, which pushes back school start times for middle and high schools.