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Missouri Governor Nixon signs ABLE legislation into law

June 30, 2015

Jefferson City-- Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, Senate Bill 174, to allow families the opportunity to set up tax-exempt 529A savings accounts for disability-related expenses. The legislation was filed by Senator Eric Schmitt, Senate District 15.

“Helping children with disabilities is not a partisan issue, it’s a human issue. It is about the right of all children to realize their God-given potential,” Gov. Nixon said. “The Missouri ABLE program will allow people with disabilities and their families to save money in a special, tax exempt savings account so that they can provide for their basic necessities, and maintain a better quality of life. It’s a common sense, compassionate piece of legislation and I am proud to sign it into law.”

 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 savings accounts are managed on the state level and require state implementation.

“Missourians are a generous people, with big hearts and a strong sense of community,” Gov. Nixon said. “This legislation supports these values and I greatly appreciate the work of the General Assembly, especially Senator Schmitt and Speaker Richardson, in getting it to my desk.

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

“Enactment of ABLE in Missouri with the leadership of Sen. Eric Schmitt is an enormous victory for families and people with disabilities in Missouri,” said Bill Bolster, President of the St. Louis Chapter of Autism Speaks.  “Now, Missouri families with disabilities can save and invest in the future of their loved ones.   Sen. Schmitt’s efforts in this area will benefit families for generations to come.  I applaud Sen. Schmitt for his work on behalf of Missourians with disabilities.” 

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