LANSING, MI – Michigan residents who care for an individual with a disability will soon have access to special savings accounts to help them pay for certain expenses, thanks to legislation signed today by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.
Article V, Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor to sign legislation when the governor is out of state. Gov. Snyder is currently attending the 2015 Ontario Economic Summit.
“The ABLE Act provides Michiganders with disabilities more financial opportunities that will help them live more self-determined independent lives,” Calley said. “Families will now have tax-exempt options to save more money to support their loved ones without worrying about losing access to other benefits.”
House Bill 4542, authored by state Rep. Anthony Forlini, creates the Michigan Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE Act) and authorizes ABLE savings accounts to be used for spending on education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology and personal support services, health, prevention and wellness, financial management, legal fees and other expenses. Forlini’s HB 4543 creates an income tax deduction for ABLE Act accounts, with a deduction cap of $5,000 for a single return or $10,000 for a joint return. The bills are now Public Acts 160 and 161 of 2015, respectively.
HB 4544, sponsored by Rep. Nancy Jenkins, excludes money in an ABLE Act account from being used in determining financial eligibility for assistance programs. It is now PA 162.
Senate Bill 360, sponsored by Sen. Rebekah Warren, changes the maximum amount for Michigan Education Savings Program accounts to $500,000, from $235,000. The maximum amount allowed in ABLE accounts is tied to the maximum for MESP accounts. The bill is now PA 163.
The lieutenant governor today also signed three additional measures:
HB 4517, sponsored by Rep. David Rutledge, allows consolidated districts to refinance the debt of an original district, while maintaining the territory of the original district for purposes of retiring the refinanced debt. It is now PA 164.
SB 240, sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones, prohibits the sale, use or possession of powdered alcohol. Violations will result in misdemeanor charges. It is now PA 165.
HB 4263, sponsored by Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, reduces the licensing fee for athletic trainers from 200 dollars to 100 dollars, reduces their continuing education hours from 80 to 75, and requires all trainers to complete automated external defibrillator training before being certified or re-certified. It is now PA 166.