Congressman Ander Crenshaw, author of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act), announced today (12/19) that President Barack Obama has signed his legislation into law. The action caps more than eight years of teamwork to create tax-free savings accounts for millions living with disabilities. These Americans and their families will now have the same financial planning tool available to others as they reach for every possible piece of the American dream.
Crenshaw, House-side author of the ABLE Act, who first introduced seed legislation to create ABLE accounts in 2006, issued the following statement:
“The ABLE Act is now law of the land, and a brighter future opens to millions of individuals living with disabilities. I am privileged to have been in a position to guide this reform from an idea into a law and never doubted we would reach our goal. Credit goes to fantastic teamwork from House and Senate Members on both sides of the political aisle and determination from hundreds of advocacy groups across the nation. Their focus and drive to educate Capitol Hill on the need for this law made a key difference.
“Positive achievements can be made by working together to improve the quality of life for those in need. The ABLE Act proves that. ABLE accounts open the door to financial peace of mind for so many. These Americans will no longer stand on the sidelines asking why can’t I use IRS-sanctioned tools to put money away for my future like others. They will be in the game and playing to win.”
BACKGROUND: Officially titled The Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014, in honor of its long-time champion who passed away unexpectedly on December 8, the measure marks the first major legislative reform to impact the disabled since the 1990 passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Beck, of Burke, VA, had advocated for the reform early on. His young daughter Natalie was born with Down syndrome,
The law amends Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for qualified expenses. Benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources would be supplemented, but not supplanted by the legislation. The bill passed the House on December 3 by a vote of 404-17 and was included Tax Extenders legislation which passed the Senate by a vote of 76 – 16. President Barack Obama signed the measure into law on Friday, December 19.
Editor’s Note: Go to www.crenshaw.house.gov for more information about the history of the ABLE Act.