Sacramento, CA — The California State Legislature has unanimously passed legislation that establishes an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) program for disability-related expenses in the state. The legislation now heads to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.
The federal ABLE Act, enacted in December of 2014, amended federal law to disregard ABLE account funds for means-tested federal programs such as SSI and Medicaid, which cap (usually at $ 2,000) the amount an individual with a disability may save. The California legislation was sponsored by Senator Fran Pavley (Senate Bill No. 324) and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (Assembly Bill No. 449).
“We are extremely grateful to Senator Pavley and Assemblymember Irwin for their leadership on championing this important financial tool for people with disabilities and their families,” said Stuart Spielman, Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel at Autism Speaks. “The passage of this legislation would not have been possible without the broad coalition of disability organizations and grassroots advocates across the state. We hope that Governor Jerry Brown will quickly sign the ABLE legislation.”
ABLE laws have now been enacted in 31 states including Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
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