Archive for April, 2015

HB 15-1359 Bill Update

Last week, while many CO advocates for people with IDD were attending the Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, HB 15-1359 was introduced by Reps. Danielson and Landgraf and Sens. Kefalas and Martinez-Humenik.

This bill authorizes the appropriate state agencies in Colorado to implement the provisions of the ABLE Act—federal law signed by the President late last year.  Early this year, we had been told that CO might not be ready to move forward with the process for establishing rules, regs., etc. for ABLE Act accounts until after the 2015 session.  However, that has changed and this bill, if signed, will begin the process for Coloradans to establish ABLE savings accounts similar to 529 college savings accounts. ABLE accounts “may be used to save for many expenses related to an individual’s disability, without disqualifying the individual for certain federal benefits. Qualifying expenses may include, if permitted under federal law, expenses related to education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology and support services, health, prevention and wellness, financial management and administrative services, legal fees, expenses for oversight and monitoring, funeral and burial expenses, and other approved expenses.”

Federal requirements regarding eligibility for 529A (ABLE) accounts will be incorporated in state law and regulation. Please note that after the bill passes and is signed that the Dept. of Revenue will establish, through typical procedures, the Rules for 529A accounts.

The Arc of CO strongly supports HB 1359 and we will add it to the list of bills which we track and monitor.  (As of Friday, April 17, 2015—HB 1359 had passed House Public Health and Human Services and was moved un-amended to House Appropriations.)