Author’s note: I published the post below on 2/19/13 and it’s been edited. However, the wheels of legislation often turn slowly, so over a year later we are discussing the ABLE Act again. This is gathering up steam and it looks like 2014 could be the year that the ABLE Act gets passed. We just need to continue the momentum. Now there is a petition for you to sign that is gaining momentum.
What’s new for the 2014 post: There is an online petition for you to sign. At the time of writing this, they still need over 63k signatures, so go sign it!
I’m sure there are new and different co-sponsors, however I have not changed the post from last year, merely adding to it. I signed the petition on Monday and then tweeted it afterwards, you can retweet it here:
— Lisa Lightner (@LisaLightnerLL) March 3, 2014
From 2/19/13: Some days I am so proud to be a Pennsylvanian! Sorry for inundating you with blog posts today, but that’s what happens when I’m out of town for a week!
Here is copied text of the actual press release from Senator Casey’s office:
Casey Introduces Bill That Would Help Parents of Disabled Children Save for Their Care
ABLE Act Would Ease Financial Burdens for Individuals with Disabilities
Proposal Attracts Over 70 Bi-partisan, Bi-Cameral Original Co-Sponsors
Washington DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today introduced the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) – bipartisan legislation to create an improved quality of life for individuals with disabilities through tax-free savings accounts. Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) also introduced companion legislation in the House.
“Parents of children with disabilities face daily struggles that we can’t even begin to imagine,” said Senator Casey. “This legislation will help make it easier for those families to save for their children’s care and for their future. The ABLE Act will provide families with the financial peace of mind they need, and Congress should pass it immediately.”
The ABLE Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill, first introduced in 2006, aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources.
Upon introduction, the legislation has earned 59 original House co-sponsors and 17 original Senate co-sponsors and is backed by more at least 50 local, state, and national disability advocacy groups, including the National Down Syndrome Society, The Arc, and Autism Speaks.
What you should do if you support this
You should contact both of your Senators and your Congress person, stating that you are in support of this bill and wish for it to pass. Your ask is: “And I hope I can count on Senator so-and-so to vote for this.”
I also have this handy-dandy list of all the Senators and their Twitter handles.
Contact the bill’s sponsors, if you are in their district, and thank them for co-sponsoring this bill.
House co-sponsors of ABLE Act
60 cosponsors (32R, 28D) (show)(joined Feb 15, 2013)(joined Feb 15, 2013)Senate co-sponsors
18 cosponsors (12D, 5R, 1I) (show)(joined Feb 14, 2013)