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A bill I was privileged to introduce over the past two years was LB 705, which dealt with ABLE accounts. ABLE accounts offer tax free savings options for education, housing, and other needs of a disabled person. These accounts allow those who are disabled to receive donations from family or friends and not have such donations count against their income that would otherwise put them over the income cap for receiving assistance.
Previously, upon death, ABLE accounts were only allowed to be transferred to the ABLE account of a disabled sibling of the original owner. Otherwise the funds would be given back to the state. Very few families have more than one child that is disabled, so most of the funds were being given back to the state to do with what they wanted. Those funds should be able to go to someone else who has an ABLE account. How many of us have disabled family members or even best friends who we would love to be able to help out if we could? LB 705 allows those with ABLE accounts to help those family members and friends by allowing them to transfer their ABLE account to anyone with an ABLE account. This legislation removes a major objection to those who have been reluctant to previously fund ABLE accounts and encourages private donations to continue to help those with ABLE accounts; without the fear that the government would claw back those funds.
ABLE accounts open doors for their owners. They can use this money for education, to attain job training, for work transportation, medical appointments, and any other essential assistance such as help with bathing, dressing, walking, toileting, eating, and needed supervision.
I was glad to have the support of Treasurer Murante’s office, ARC of Nebraska, First National Bank, and ABLE account owners and their families. Thanks to their support, LB 705 passed unanimously at the end of session and was signed into law by Governor Ricketts on August 6th.
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