For Immediate Release:
Feb. 3, 2015

Contact: Kack Haslag
(573) 751-2853

Sen. Schmitt Presents Missouri ABLE Act to
Senate Committee on Families and Children

JEFFERSON CITY—Senator Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, today presented the Missouri ABLE Act to the Seniors, Families and Children Committee. The legislation would allow families to cover their child’s future education, housing, transportation or related expenses in a tax-free savings account.

Senate Bill 174 establishes the Missouri Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) program. Under the bill, a person may make tax-deductible contributions to an account established for the purpose of financing the qualified disability expenses of a beneficiary. Participants may deduct up to $8,000 per participant ($16,000 if married filing jointly) from their adjusted gross income.

During the committee hearing, Sen. Schmitt explained that the program is similar to 529 savings plans, and will give families who have a child with a disability a fiscally feasible way to plan for their child’s future expenses.

“Many individuals living with a disability who are under the care of a parent or guardian will need some form of support for the rest of their lives,” said Sen. Schmitt.  “The savings program we are proposing would help families save for the expected and unexpected necessities that will help those with special needs achieve their fullest potential.”

Witnesses who testified in favor of the legislation included Cathy Brown, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, and Aimee Wehmeir, Executive Director, of Paraquad; Randy Hylton, from the Missouri Association of Sheltered Workshop Managers; Jeremie Ballinger, of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis; Mike Moorefield, of the Missouri State Treasurer’s Office; Doug Riggs, a father of a son with down syndrome; Cory Backues, a father of a child with a disability; Ann Mangelsdorf, of St. Louis Arc; and Wayne Lee, a disability advocate.

Wendy Sullivan, CEO of Easter Seals, also testified in support of the ABLE Act during the committee hearing.

“This important legislation helps individuals with disabilities and their families provide for the extraordinary costs that come with a disability. The ABLE Act allows people with disabilities to save for their future needs,” said Sullivan. “This bill is an excellent example of how government can encourage self-sufficiency and responsibility. Senator Schmitt is once again commended for his leadership and advocacy on behalf of people living with disabilities.”

To view Sen. Schmitt presenting the Missouri ABLE Act, click here or visit the Multimedia section on his official Senate website at