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Vermont 18th state to enact ABLE legislation

June 12, 2015

Montpelier, VT- Governor Peter Shumlin has signed into law HB402, legislation that allows families the opportunity to set up tax-free 529A savings accounts for disability-related expenses.

The Vermont ABLE law 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. Vermont’s ABLE legislation was sponsored by Representatives Michael Marcotte, William Botzow, Christopher Pearson, and Oliver Olson.

“ABLE’s enactment in Vermont would not have been possible without the influential support and devotion of legislative members in the General Assembly and the invaluable support of grassroots advocates throughout the state,” said Stuart Spielman, Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel at Autism Speaks. “We cannot express how grateful we are to these representatives and especially to Governor Shumlin for signing ABLE into law and providing such an important financial tool for all families impacted by autism in the state.  We look forward to other states following Vermont’s example.”

ABLE laws have been enacted in 19 states: Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.  ABLE bills have now passed the legislatures in seven other states:  Alabama, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Texas.