McConnell Urges Senate to Pass Bipartisan Legislation to Assist Kentuckians with Disabilities

Rachel Putnam presents the senator with the National Down Syndrome Society’s Champion of Change Award.
Rachel Putnam presents the senator with the National Down Syndrome Society’s Champion of Change Award.

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored bipartisan legislation today to assist Kentuckians with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities by creating a tax-deferred savings account to be used for education, housing, transportation, employment support, and other qualified disability-related expenses.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2013, creates a tax-deferred savings account (529 plan) for individuals and families to help pay disability-related expenses without jeopardizing access to their federal and state disability benefits. Previously, Senator McConnell led a bipartisan effort to enact legislation to offer federal tax relief for college savings plans through creation of the 529 plan.

“I have heard from many parents across Kentucky who have children with disabilities who find it difficult to encourage their independence and save money for the future,” Senator McConnell said. “I proudly support the ABLE Act on behalf of the Kentucky families, children, and individuals living with disabilities, and I look forward to working with Kentucky families and organizations to help get this legislation through the Senate.”

National Down Syndrome Society DS-Ambassador Lynn Braker of Lexington, Kentucky said, “It really means so much to my family and the Down syndrome community as a whole that Senator McConnell has cosponsored the ABLE Act. His leadership and willingness to sign on to this monumental bill means a much better life for my son, Anderson, and the millions of people with Down syndrome and other disabilities in the US. The ABLE Act will help individuals with disabilities realize and achieve their own hopes, dreams, and aspirations, and we are thrilled that Senator McConnell is committed to helping us make that happen.”

Anne Gregory, from Louisville and the Kentucky Autism Speaks state coordinator, who advocated on behalf of the ABLE bill during a visit to Senator McConnell’s office said, “I am so pleased to learn that Senator McConnell is co-sponsoring this critical legislation benefiting families affected by autism and other disabilities. A family can save tax-free college funds for their children under a 529 PLAN; it is only equitable they should be able to do the same for the life-long expenses of their loved ones with disabilities, which typically far exceed the average college tuition.”

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