Bipartisan Proposal to Help Individuals with Disabilities and their Families Save for the Future Passes Senate

MADISON – Today, Senate Bill 122, which would require the State of Wisconsin to implement a 529A ABLE savings account program either directly or through an agreement with another state, passed on a bipartisan vote in the Senate. In 2014, Congress passed Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) legislation to allow states to implement ABLE programs, allowing individuals with disabilities and their families to set aside tax-free savings for future expenses such as education, transportation, basic living, and health services without impacting their Social Security and Medicaid benefits. The bill previously passed unanimously in its Senate and Assembly committees and is now available to be scheduled for a final vote in the Assembly before being sent to be signed by the Governor.

“This critical legislation will make a huge difference in the lives of the many Wisconsinites with disabilities and their families, enabling them to plan and save for the future without jeopardizing their Social Security and health care benefits,” said Rep. Subeck, “For years, this bill has been a top priority for disability advocates around the state. Now that it has passed the Senate, I hope it will soon be scheduled for a vote in the Assembly so that we can send it to the Governor for his signature.”

Wisconsin is one of only four states that does not offer its own ABLE program or partner with another state’s program, creating barriers for individuals wishing to open an account. While current state law allows Wisconsinites to open ABLE accounts in other states, doing so requires individuals to research and compare other state’s programs on their own and potentially pay higher fees to participate as an out of state resident. As a result, uptake of ABLE accounts in Wisconsin has been significantly lower than in other states.

“Today’s vote in the Senate demonstrates the momentum and the broad bipartisan support behind this effort to make ABLE accounts a reality in Wisconsin,” said Rep. Subeck, “This is a real opportunity to offer some peace of mind to people with disabilities and their families by giving them the opportunity to build a better future.”

Rep. Subeck has represented the 78th Assembly District since 2015 and serves as Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus.