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New Jersey first state to enact ABLE in 2016

January 13, 2016

Trenton, NJ−Governor Chris Christie has signed ABLE legislation that will allow families the opportunity to set up tax-free 529A savings accounts for disability-related expenses. The bill received unanimous support in votes in both chambers.

The legislation was sponsored by Senate President Stephen, Senator Dawn Addiego and Assemblymembers Pamela Lampitt, Louis Greenwald, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Daniel Benson and Vincent Mazzeo.

The New Jersey ABLE legislation follows upon enactment by the federal government of the Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014. Modeled after college savings accounts, ABLE accounts will enable people with autism and their families to save for housing, education, transportation, medical and other expenses if related to their disability. Assets in ABLE accounts will be exempt from a $2,000 cap on conventional savings accounts.

“We are grateful for Governor Chris Christie's support for ABLE and thrilled that families across New Jersey will be empowered with a new financial tool to plan for their financial security,” said Stuart Spielman, senior policy advisor and counsel at Autism Speaks.“ We also extend our gratitude to our legislative champions whose leadership made this victory a reality for families in New Jersey.”

Read more: A year of ABLE momentum

ABLE laws have now been enacted in the District of Columbia and the following 33 states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Local New Jersey advocate and parent Maria C. McGinley applauded the enactment of ABLE in the state, “This is a landmark moment for individuals with disabilities in New Jersey.  The ABLE Act will change the manner in which families can save for their children's future, which will open the door to increased opportunities.”

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