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Hawaii Governor signs ABLE legislation

July 09, 2015

Honolulu, HI—Governor Ige has signed the Hawaii ABLE savings program act, HB 119, to allow families the opportunity to set up tax-exempt 529A savings accounts for disability-related expenses.

The Hawaii ABLE savings program legislation was introduced by Rep. Della Au Belatti (D-Makiki) and follows upon enactment by the federal government of the Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014. The federal law allows ABLE account funds to be disregarded 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. 

At the time of passage Rep. Belatti remarked, “Living with a disability can pose unique challenges but the ABLE Act provides a means for alleviating the financial worry and burden facing parents of disabled children.  By providing the opportunity to set aside money in tax-free savings accounts, this legislation empowers families and individuals to create a secure source of funding for disability-related expenses.”

ABLE laws have also been enacted in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

“Enacting ABLE legislation would not have been possible without Representative Della Au Belatti and Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland who worked alongside families and community groups to help empower families with the financial tools they need for their loved ones,” said Stuart Spielman, senior policy advisor and counsel at Autism Speaks. “We are also grateful that Governor David Ige has signed the ABLE Savings Program legislation so that all families can prepare for the futures of their loved ones.”

Families impacted by autism in Hawaii also celebrated the passage of autism insurance reforms earlier this session. Read more HERE

Stay up to date on all advocacy efforts in your state by signing up for Autism Votes HERE.