2015 State Disability Employment Legislation Report

12/19/2017

Disabled woman with another womanState lawmakers used a variety of policy strategies to address disability employment issues in 2015, targeting both private and public sectors.

Enacted legislation in 2015 often highlighted the importance of education, work experience, and vocational rehabilitation service access. Enacted legislation also targeted employment first and competitive integrated employment policies to provide greater social and workplace inclusion of people with disabilities.

Numerous states passed legislation addressing service animal use in places of public accommodations, often providing for the use of service animals for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorders and traumatic brain injury.

State legislatures also passed legislation implementing the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act and addressing workforce development systems in response to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). This report compiles 2015 state-enacted legislation.

2015 Enacted Legislation by Issue Area

5 Education, Career Readiness, and School-to-Work Transitions 6 Competitive Intergrated Employment, Employment First and... 7 Private 9 Accessibility and Accommodations 8 Service Animals 11 Workforce Development and Vocational Rehabilitation Other Disability Issues 7 13 Public 41 Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) implementation

 

States with legislation in issue areas AK OH WY IA KS NM UT CA DE MD NC 2015 Enacted Disability Employment Legislation WA ND WI MA VT RI NH ME ID MT SD MN IL IN MI PA NJ NY CT OR NV CO TN WV SC VA DC AZ OK LA MS AR KY MO NE AL GA FL TX HI GU AS MP VI PR Enacted Legislation Per Issue Area States with legislation in: 5 issue areas 3-4 issue areas 1-2 issue areas None

Public Sector Employment and State Government Procurement

California

Senate Bill 644—Relates to the Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP). Permits a person with developmental disabilities to either complete a written examination or readiness evaluation or an internship to qualify for service under LEAP. Specifies the length of any such internship. Requires the referral of applicants who have completed the internship to the appointing power for examination appointments. Requires on-the-job support and financing of the internship or a position under LEAP with specified funding.

Connecticut

Senate 1502a—Implements provisions of the state budget for the biennium ending June 30, 2017. It relates to general government, education, health and human services and bonds of the state. It provides for the state port authority, mortgage recording taxes, mandated mental health insurance, microbeads and government contract set-asides for minority business enterprises. Requires all state contractors to follow state nondiscrimination and affirmative action statutes and provide set-asides to subcontractors targeting small business and minority business enterprises in public works, municipal public works and quasi-public agency projects.

Louisiana

Senate Resolution 73—Requests that the governor issue an executive order directing state agencies and local governments to continue to support the Louisiana State Use Program, managed by Employment Development Services.

Maryland

House Bill 349—Repeals the Pricing Committee for Blind Industries and Services of Maryland and merges the functions of the committee with the Pricing and Selection Committee for the Employment Works Program. Alters the membership and duties of a certain pricing and selection committee.It requires the Governor's Office of Minority Affairs and the Department of General Services to report to certain committees of the General Assembly on or before certain dates. It provides for the termination of specified provisions.

Nevada

Senate Bill 62—Relates to the State Personnel System. Requires the Personnel Commission to adopt certain regulations governing the employment, dismissal, demotion, or suspension of state employees. Authorizes the commission to adopt certain regulations relating to state employees and applicants for position affecting public safety. It makes other changes relating to the system. Section 3 requires an appointing authority to also consider whether an employee with a disability can be appointed to a position at or below the grade level of the employee’s current position before considering separation from service or disability retirement.

South Dakota

Senate Bill 90—Requires school districts to provide veterans a preference in appointment, employment and promotion, relates to all public departments and subdivisions and upon all public works of this state and of the counties, municipalities, and school districts of this state. Provides that a veteran who has a service-connected disability shall be given a preference over a nondisabled veteran.

Senate Bill 32—Revises certain provisions regarding veteran's preference for all veterans who are U.S. citizens who seek employment with the state, a county or a municipality. It removes the requirement that the person be a resident of the state.

Texas

Senate Bill 212—Relates to the abolishment of the State Council on Purchasing from People with Disabilities and the transfer of its functions to the State Workforce Commission.

Senate Bill 805—Relates to the employment of individuals qualified for a veteran's employment preference, includes a veteran with a disability, includes a surviving wife who has not remarried, includes an orphan of a veteran if the veteran was killed while on active duty.It relates to state agencies, including an institution of higher education.

House Bill 1678—Provides for continuation and functions of the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities. Provides for public posting of required long-range plans created by a state agency, a committee of a state agency or a nonprofit organization.

House Bill 2789—Relates to trauma-informed care training for new employees of state who work directly with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in supported living centers and intermediate care facilities. It provides that required training may be provided through a website.

Washington

Senate Bill 5466—Clarifies employee eligibility for benefits from the Public Employees' Benefits Board and conforms the eligibility provisions with federal law. Provides for continuation of coverage for children who are and continue to be incapable of self-sustaining employment by reason of a developmental disability or physical handicap and who are dependent upon an employee for support and maintenance.

House Bill 1636—Requires disability employment reporting by state agencies. It relates to the state disability employment parity act, and relates to increasing the hiring of persons with disabilities in the state workforce.

Private Sector Employment and State Government Procurement

Arizona

House Concurrent Resolution 2029—Supporting the Employment of Persons with Disabilities and Encouraging Arizona Businesses to Hire Persons with Disabilities

California

Assembly Bill 987—Prohibits an employer or other covered entity from retaliating or otherwise discriminating against a person for requesting accommodation of his or her disability or religious beliefs, regardless of whether the accommodation request was granted.

Louisiana

House Bill 508—Authorizes an income tax deduction for each taxpayer who provides continuous employment to a qualified individual with an intellectual or physical impairment. It limits the number of qualified individuals for which the deduction may be claimed. Provides that the amount of the deduction is a percentage of the gross wages paid to a qualified disabled individual for a specified length of employment and after that length the percentage of deduction is reduced. Requires maintenance of all records. Identifies the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Services as the implementation agency and tasks the department with maintaining qualified participant lists and completing evaluation and reporting of pilot program effectiveness in creating long term employment placements and decreasing Medicaid waiver expenditures.

Maryland

House Bill 473—Alters the amount of a credit against state taxes for wages and child care or transportation expenses related to qualified employees with disabilities. Includes a disabled veteran. Amends Md. Education Code Ann. §21-309 by increasing previous credit caps and extending availability of full credit to the first two years of employment. Employers can claim, per qualified employee, up to $2,700 in tax credit per year for two years against wages and another $900 per year against transportation or child care costs. The tax credit cannot be applied to wages and cost for an employee hired to replace a laid off or striking employee and cannot be applied to an employee who accompanies federal or state employment training benefits. Applies to state tax liability years beginning Jan. 1, 2016.

New York

Assembly Bill 3009—Enacts into law major components of legislation that are necessary to implement the state fiscal plan for the state 2015-2016 state fiscal year. Makes changes to section 25-B of the NY Labor Laws. It renames the “developmentally disabled works” tax credit to the “workers with disabilities” tax credit. Removes the requirement that to be considered a qualified employee, an individual with a developmental disability must have completed or be currently receiving vocational rehabilitation services under an individualized written rehabilitation plan.

Utah

Senate Bill 13—Repeals provisions related to corporate and individual income tax credits. Repeals, among other tax credits, the Utah Targeted Jobs Tax Credit for hiring people with disabilities.

Washington

House Bill 1496—Creates certain incentives for employers to employ injured workers with permanent disabilities. Requires the Department of Labor and Industries to conduct a study of injured workers whose employers participate in certain vocational services incentives to determine the impact on return-to-work outcomes, long-term disability and claim costs.

Education, Career Readiness, and School-to-Work Transitions

Connecticut

House Bill 6737—Implements the recommendations of the program review and investigations committee concerning transitional services for youth and young adults with autism spectrum disorder. Provides for development and supervision of the educational programs and services for children requiring special education. Relates to transition resources, Medicaid waivers, services for high school students and post-graduation goals. Requires notification of services to parents and guardians.

Illinois

House Bill 3123—Amends the School Code. Provides that school counseling services may include assisting students in need of special education services by implementing the academic supports and social-emotional and college or career development counseling services or interventions per a student's individualized education program or participating in or contributing to a student's IEP and completing a social developmental history. Provides that school counseling services may include certain other services.

New Hampshire

Senate Bill 190—Relates to payment of costs for career and technical education center programs. Provides for administration by the Department of Education. Modifies the determination of financial responsibility for costs of tuition for career and technical education center programs and the administration of Career and Technical Education programs by the Department of Education. Provides for reimbursement of transportation costs of a sending district for approved students. Provides for maximum utilization of cooperative agreements with vocational rehabilitation and special education in order to provide CTE to disabled persons.

New York

Senate Bill 2006—Enacts into law the major components of legislation necessary to implement the state education, labor, housing and family assistance budget for the 2015-2016 state fiscal year. Enacts requirement for students with disabilities receiving financial aid to make regular progress in higher education coursework.

Washington

Senate Bill 5679—Concerns postsecondary education transition services for special education students. Requires that post-secondary transition planning occur as soon as educationally and developmentally appropriate in a student’s individualized education program.

Competitive Integrated Employment, Employment First, and Subminimum Wage

Florida

House Bill 7003—Establishes the Employment First Act, prioritizing integration of individuals with disabilities into the workforce. Establishes the Financial Literacy Program for individuals with developmental disabilities. Provides for participation by specified financial institutions. Provides requirements for related information on specified websites. Relates to employment of underrepresented groups by executive agencies. Creates a Unique Abilities Partner Program.

Georgia

House Resolution 642—Creates Joint Study Committee on Postsecondary Education and Employment Options for Individuals with I/DDs

Indiana

Senate Resolution 38—Urges the legislative council to assign the topic of an Employment First Program, which promotes and expands quality, community employment outcomes for all people with disabilities to an appropriate study committee.

Mississippi

House Bill 836—Requires state agencies that provide services and support to people with disabilities to consider competitive employment in an integrated setting for people with disabilities. Requires all state agencies to follow this policy by coordinating all collaborating efforts among agencies. Authorizes state agencies to adopt rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this act. Requires the disability resource commission to review measurable goals and objectives. Requires reporting.

New Hampshire

Senate Bill 47—Prohibits employers from employing people with disabilities at an hourly rate lower than the federal minimum wage except for practical experience or training programs and family businesses.

Oklahoma

House Bill 1969—Creates the Oklahoma Employment First Act. It requires state agencies to coordinate efforts to ensure policies and funding support employment of disabled individuals. Authorizes state agencies to adopt rules. Relates to competitive employment, self-employment, integrated settings and a working age over age 16.

Workforce Development and Vocational Rehabilitation

Alabama

House Bill 554—Relates to the Department of Commerce. Transfers various departments, programs, duties, functions, boards, and committees of the Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Department of Postsecondary Education to the Department of Commerce. Transfers certain property, employees, and appropriations to the department. Reorganizes the newly constituted department and provides for its duties and functions.

Arkansas

Senate Bill 791—Establishes the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, repeals the Workforce Investment Act, repeals the Temporary Assistance For Needy Families Oversight Board and establishes it as a committee. Provides for youth, adult and dislocated worker programs, adult education and literacy activities, career and technical education, digital literacy skill enhancement, designation of local workforce development areas, certain appropriations, and various other matters relating to workforce development.

California

Assembly Bill 1270—Renames the State Workforce Investment Board to the State Workforce Development Board. Requires the board to assist the governor in the development of a state plan. Provides the state plan to serve as a framework and coordinated plan for the aligned investment of all workforce training and employment funding streams and programs. Renames local boards and local workforce development boards. Authorizes a local board youth service committee. Requires local multiyear plan and a revision of public plan sharing.

Senate Bill 342—Requires the State Workforce Investment Board to assist the governor in helping individuals with defined barriers to employment achieve economic security and upward mobility by implementing policies that encourage the attainment of marketable skills relevant to current labor market trends. Defines the term earn and learn as it relates to job training programs that are outcome oriented and accountable.

Colorado

Senate Bill 239—Concerns the transfer of vocational rehabilitation programs, including the Business Enterprise Program, from the Department of Human Services to the Department of Labor and Employment.

House Bill 1188—Concerns clarifications to the State Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Clarifies that the program does not entitle an eligible person with a disability to unlimited services from the program. Requires the development of a fee schedule for goods and services. Requires the close of a record of services in a timely manner for a person with a disability. Establishes a review process to allow for exceptions to the new requirements in isolated and unique cases.

Florida

House Bill 7019—Relates to workforce services renaming. Conforms provisions to changes made by the act. Makes technical changes. Creates a task force on preparation for the state's implementation of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Provides membership and duties of the task force. Requires the task force to submit a report and recommendations for approval by Careersource Florida Inc. Requires Careersource Florida Inc., to submit a specified state plan to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Massachusetts

House Bill 3772—Establishes a State Workforce Development Board to provide assessments and recommendations to local workforce boards regarding the effectiveness of the public workforce development system in meeting the regional workforce needs. Provides for an education and training collaborative to a regional education, training, and skills alliance center.

Nevada

Assembly Bill 5—Requires the Aging and Disability Services Division of the Department of Health and Human Services to enter into an agreement with the Rehabilitation Division of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation to provide long-term support to people with intellectual disabilities and people with related conditions. Authorizes the administrator of the Aging and Disability Services Division to adopt regulations governing the provision of services to certain people with intellectual disabilities and people with related conditions. Requires the Aging and Disability Services Division to provide preferences for potential providers of jobs and day training services in issuing certificates authorizing the provision of such services and in entering into agreements concerning the provision of such services. Any such agreements must include a provision stating that employment is the preferred service option for all adults of working age.

Texas

Senate Bill 208—Relates to the continuation and functions of the State Workforce Commission. Includes requirement that all state agencies engaged in vocational rehabilitation or related services to coordinate with the State Workforce Commission.

Virginia

House Bill 1986—Relates to State Board of Workforce Development. Makes several changes to the Board of Workforce Development, including requiring quarterly meetings of the board. Establishes a full-time director position to be supervised by the governor's chief workforce development adviser and dedicated to supporting the board's operations. Requires a report from each agency administering any publicly funded career and technical education and workforce development program on the program's performance.

Service Animals

Florida

House Bill 71—Relates to service animals. Requires public accommodation to permit use of service animal by an individual with a disability. Expands, for the purposes of service animal protections, an individual with a disability to include mental disabilities. Provides conditions for public accommodation to exclude or remove service animal. Revises penalties for certain people or entities who interfere with use of service animal. Provides a misdemeanor penalty for knowing and willful misrepresentation with respect to use or training of service animal.

Maine

House Bill 591—Establishes a study commission to ensure integrity in the use of service animals in order to study training and certification requirements of service animals, methods of disseminating information about service animals to the public and documentation of training and certification of service animals.

Michigan

House Bill 4521—Provides for the voluntary issuance of identification, tags, and patches for service animals. Provides for certain powers and duties of the Department of Civil Rights. Provides for criminal penalties for false or fraudulent activity under these provisions.

House Bill 4527—Prohibits the use of certain collars or harnesses and leashes on dogs in public places, except by deaf, audibly impaired, or otherwise physically limited people.  Provides criminal penalties for violations.

Senate Bill 298—Prohibits a person from willfully and maliciously assaulting, interfering with, or attempting to assault or interfere with a service animal. Provides for penalties. Requires a public accommodation to modify its policies, practices and procedures to permit the use of a service animal by a person with a disability. Includes certain veterans, including those with post-traumatic stress disorder, in the definition of person with a disability.

Senate Bill 299Exempts certain service animals from licensing fees. Includes certain veterans, including those with post-traumatic stress disorders and certain brain injuries, within the definition of person with a disability.

Nevada

Assembly Bill 157—Makes certain provisions relating to service animals and service animals in training applicable only when the animal is a dog or a miniature horse. Revises provisions governing the use of a service animal by a person with a disability. Allows an employer to determine whether it is reasonable to allow an employee to keep a service animal that is a miniature horse at the place of employment. Allows a place of accommodation or common carrier to determine to admit such animal that is a miniature horse.

North Dakota

House Bill 1025—Provides an appropriation for defraying expenses of the department of veterans' affairs, including $25,000 in contingent funds for service dog provision to North Dakota veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Accessibility and Accommodations

Alabama

House Bill 25—Relates to disability access parking. Provides that the amount of the fine for a violation is not required to be displayed or attached to any sign designating a special access or disability parking space. Provides that a person issued a placard must be the driver or a passenger in a vehicle parked in a special access or disability parking place. Provides that a law enforcement officer may ask for verification that the person issued the placard is the driver or passenger in the parked vehicle.

California

Assembly Bill 1521—Relates to construction-related accessibility claims. Requires each disability access demand letter or complaint to include additional information regarding the rights and obligations of business owners and commercial tenants. Requires that a defendant be provided a construction-related accessibility claim with a verified answer form. Extends the requirement for providing a copy of the demand letter to the State Bar.

Rhode Island

House Bill 5695—Relates to licensure for interpreters for the deaf. Includes deaf-blind persons, establishes qualifications for new categories to serve those needing additional alternate forms of communication such as sign language, visual, gestural, auditory and tactile methods of communication. Provides for educational interpreters for K-12 education, provides for training courses and provides for criminal background checks.

Senate Bill 478—Amends the licensure of interpreters for the deaf. Includes the deaf-blind, establish qualifications for new categories to serve those needing additional alternate forms of communication such as sign language, visual, gestural, auditory and tactile methods of communication. Requires applicants to provide verification of a background check with the bureau of criminal investigation, adhere to a code of professional conduct and disclose prior disciplinary action taken against them.

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act Implementation

Alabama

Senate Bill 226—Renames the Wallace-Folsom College Savings Investment Plan to the Wallace-Folsom Savings Investment Plan. Provides for the ABLE Program to assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting citizens with disabilities. Provides for definitions relating to the ABLE Program, provides for the income tax exemption eligible to the ABLE Program.

Arkansas

House Bill 1239—Creates the Achieving a Better Life Experience Program. Provides new avenues for financial self-sufficiency for Arkansans with disabilities. Relates to contracting states, disability certification, assistive technology, education, employment training, financial management services, housing, funeral expenses, health expenses, legal fees and transportation. Provides that qualified distributions are exempt from income tax. Provides that nonqualified distributions are subject to state income tax.

California

Assembly Bill 449—Relates to the creation of tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities or ABLE accounts that assist individuals and families to save funds to maintain health, independence and quality of life. Conforms federal income tax provisions under the Corporation Income Tax law. Establishes an ABLE program and fund to implement the federal act, and an ABLE Act Board. Relates to the California ABLE Program Trust. Relates to investment managers.

Senate Bill 324—Conforms to certain federal provisions relating to the ABLE Act under the Personal Income Tax Law. Creates the ABLE Act Board. Requires the board to provide an annual listing of distributions to people that have an interest in an ABLE account to the Franchise Tax Board.

Colorado

House Bill 1359—Creates the Achieving a Better Life Experience savings program for people with disabilities. Relates to account earnings on a tax-free basis. Relates to account distributions for qualified disability expenses are exempt from state income taxation. Requires the authority to adopt guidelines and procedures for implementing the program, and to revise those guidelines and procedures. Includes provisions relating to contributions, withdrawals, and management of accounts.

Connecticut

House Bill 6738—Implements the recommendations of the program review and investigations committee concerning the federal Achieving A Better Life Experience Act. Relates to paying the qualified disability expenses related to the blindness or disability of a designated beneficiary. Provides that property of the trust and the earnings on the trust shall be exempt from taxation by the state and political subdivisions of the state.

Delaware

House Bill 60—Provides for the establishment of Achieving a Better Life Experience savings accounts to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting people with disabilities to maintain health, independence and quality of life.

District of Columbia

Bill 391—(Emergency Act) Amends, on an emergency basis, District of Columbia Official Code to establish a qualified ABLE Program, to be known as the ABLE Program Trust, pursuant to the requirements of the Stephen Beck Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 to exempt from income taxation the earnings on deposits made to an ABLE Program Trust by an eligible person to assist the individual with certain expenses related to the person’d blindness or disability.

Florida

Senate Bill 642—Requires the Prepaid College Board to establish ABLE Inc. Establishes a board of directors, meeting, facilities usage, financial, contractual, beneficiary, medical assistance, reporting and other requirements to administer ABLE. Requires certain health, social and family agencies to assist the organization with public information and outreach. Provides that certain money is not subject to attachment, levy, garnishment or legal process in favor of certain creditors or claimants.

Hawaii

House Bill 119 CD1—Relates to the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) savings program. Specifies functions and powers of the director of finance. Establishes a qualified tax exempt savings program to encourage and assist individuals and families to save private funds to support people with disabilities. Provides that the program shall remain in conformance with the Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014.

Senate Bill 1133 HD1—Conforms income tax law with amendments made to the Internal Revenue Code related to qualified ABLE account programs.

Illinois

Senate Bill 1383—Creates the ABLE account program to assist individuals and families in saving funds for the purpose of supporting persons with disabilities, and to provide secure funding for disability-related expenses to supplement benefits provided through private insurance, federal and state medical and disability insurance, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources. Provides for certain interstate agreements, eligibility requirements, investment policy, and exception from the claims of creditors.

Iowa

Senate Bill 505—Relates to appropriations for health and human services. Creates an ABLE savings plan trust. Provides that appropriations not in compliance are subject to repayment. Requires that funds not expended shall revert to the medical assistance appropriation; relates to Medicaid payments to disproportionate share hospitals and Medicaid reimbursement rates; provides for children's health programs and child care; provides grants for behavioral analysts; provides ultrasound prerequisites for abortion.

Kansas

House Bill 2216—Relates to the Kansas money transmitter act, the Kansas mortgage business act, branch banking, remote service units and financial organizations. Enacts the Kansas ABLE savings program for people with a disability. Requires any person operating in accordance with the provisions of this act to maintain such documents and records as necessary to verify compliance with this act, or any other applicable state or federal law or regulation. Provides for bankruptcy.

Louisiana

House Bill 598—Relates to the ABLE Account Program. Provides for implementation of the program. Relates to the composition and functions of the ABLE Account Authority. Provides for cooperative endeavors between the ABLE Account Authority and the state Tuition Trust Authority. Provides for concurrent operation and management of the program and the state Student Tuition Assistance and Revenue Trust Program. Provides for the duties of the state treasurer and tax treatment of amounts deposited in ABLE accounts.

Maine

House Bill 967—Directs the state treasurer to study the most effective options for Maine residents to participate in tax-advantaged savings accounts for persons with disabilities.

Maryland

Senate Bill 761—Establishes a Task Force on the State Achieving a Better Life Experience Program. Provides for the composition, chair, and staffing of the task force. Prohibits a member of the task force from receiving certain compensation, but authorizing the reimbursement of certain expenses. Requires the task force to study and make recommendations regarding certain matters. Requires the task force to report its findings and recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly on or before a certain date.

Michigan

House Bill 4542—Creates the Achieving a Better Life Experience Program. Provides for ABLE accounts, prescribes the powers and duties of certain state agencies, boards, and departments, allows certain tax credits or deductions, provides for penalties and remedies.

House Bill 4543—Provides for contributions to the ABLE savings program, provides a deduction from adjusted gross income for such contributions up to specified total amounts during any tax year.

House Bill 4544—Prohibits state from considering amount in ABLE saving accounts as financial liability for certain assistance programs.

Minnesota

Senate Bill 1458—Establishes the Health and Human Services Budget, with Sections 44-51 establishing a Minnesota Achieving a Better Life (ABLE) Act savings account.

Missouri

Senate Bill 174—Establishes the State Achieving a Better Life Experience Program. Authorizes a person to make tax-deductible contributions to an account established for the purpose of financing the qualified disability expenses of a beneficiary. Creates the state ABLE Board to be charged with establishing and administering the savings program. Exempts from taxation the assets of the account and any income therefrom. Provides the total amount of funds a participant may deduct from their adjusted gross income.

Montana

Senate Bill 399—Authorizes the creation of the Montana achieving a better life experience program. Creates an oversight committee. Provides for tax-exempt savings accounts for disability-related expenses. Provides for a recapture tax for certain withdrawals of deductible contributions. Authorizes the department of public health and human services to contract with another state to allow state residents access to another state's 529A program. Provides that such account may not be counted for assistance program eligibility.

Nebraska

Bill 591—Creates the achieve a better life experience program, provides adjustments to taxable income, and adjusts calculations of certain tax deductions and homestead exemptions.

Bill 591a—Appropriates funds to aid in carrying out the provisions of LB 591. Relates to people with disabilities. Provides for ABLE accounts.

Nevada

Senate Bill 419—Relates to people with disabilities. Creates the Achieving a Better Life Savings Program as a qualified Achieving a Better Life program under the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014. Authorizes the creation of a program within the Aging and Disability Services Division of the Department of Health and Human Services. Provides services of independent living and assistive technology for people with disabilities who need independent living services. Relates to regulations.

New York

Senate Bill 4472/Assembly Bill 7767—Relates to the creation of the New York Achieving a Better Life Experience Savings Account Act. Provides the account is to support people with developmental disabilities maintain health, independence and quality of life and to provide secure funding for disability related expenses for beneficiaries with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Creates a related advisory council.

North Carolina

House Bill 556—Enacts the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. Specifies provisions that apply to an ABLE account. Relates to contributions, designated beneficiaries, limitations, rollovers, advancements, records and accounting. Establishes a board of trustees to provide oversight, general administration and proper operation of the ABLE program. Provides that a person may make contributions for a taxable year for the benefit of an eligible person to an ABLE account.

North Dakota

House Bill 1373—Creates the North Dakota achieving a better life experience plan and an individual income tax deduction for contributions to the plan. Provides a continuing appropriation. Provides an effective date.

Ohio

House Bill 155—Creates a program offering federally tax-advantaged savings accounts to pay for qualified disability expenses and higher education. Disregards account income in determining eligibility for public assistance. Relates to an ABLE account. Relates to participation by residents and residents of other states. Provides for proposals from financial institutions to act as depositories. Provides for electronic deposits and information exchange. Provides that such accounts are subject to Medicaid estate recovery.

Oregon

Senate Bill 777—Directs the Oregon 529 Savings Board to establish the state ABLE Act program. Allows people with disabilities to establish savings accounts for disability-related expenses. Excludes distributions for qualified disability expenses from federal taxable income and subtracts contributions made to the account from federal taxable income when contribution is made before a designated beneficiary of account attains a certain age. Provides residents of contracting states access to the Oregon ABLE program.

Rhode Island

House Bill 5564—Establishes a private savings account for qualifying disabled persons, allowing contributions to grow tax free if used for qualifying expenses pursuant to Section 529A of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986, as amended.

Senate Bill 465—Relates to ABLE accounts. Relates to the Achieving a Better Life Experience Program. Establishes a private savings account for qualifying disabled persons allowing contributions to grow tax free if used for qualifying expenses. Relates to 529 plans for education.

Tennessee

Senate Bill 1162—Enacts The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2015 to assist a disabled person in saving money to meet qualified disability expenses. Relates to savings accounts, contracting states, designated beneficiaries, disability certification, legal representative, housing, education, transportation, employment training, financial management, funeral and burial expenses.

Texas

Senate Bill 1664—Relates to the establishment of the state Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving funds for the support of people with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and a quality of life. Provides secure funding for qualified disability expenses to supplement benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program, the Supplemental Security Income, the beneficiary's employment and other sources. Establishes a program board.

Utah

Senate Bill 292—Enacts the Achieving a Better Life Experience Program Act. Provides tax credits for contributions to accounts created under the program enacts the Achieving a Better Life Experience Program Act. Requires the Department of Workforce Services to conduct a study related to the program. Enacts nonrefundable tax credits for contributions to accounts created under the program.

Vermont

Senate Bill 138—Promotes economic development through provisions relating to the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive Program, the establishment of a state Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) savings program, student loan forgiveness and workforce training, tourism marketing, angel investors, Medicaid for Working People with Disabilities, millennial enterprise zones, first-time homebuyers, affordable housing tax credit, intellectual property, right of action, out-of-state businesses, land use, business growth and access to capital.

Virginia

House Bill 2306/Senate Bill 1404—Relates to achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) savings trust accounts established. Establishes ABLE savings trust accounts or college savings trust accounts to be administered by the Virginia College Savings Plan to facilitate the saving of private funds for paying the qualified disability expenses of certain disabled people. Requires deposit into a separate trust account in banks or trust accounts. Relates to prepaid tuition accounts.

Washington

House Bill 2063—Requires the state Treasurer's Office to convene a work group to design an ABLE program. Requires the work group to make a recommendation of the appropriate lead agency for the program, an analysis of the appropriate investment instrumentality for account investments, an implementation plan for the program, and a recommendation regarding the composition and role of an ABLE advisory board.

West Virginia

House Bill 2902—Provides for the establishment of a program to allow savings accounts for individuals with a disability and their families to save private funds to support the individual with a disability, to be known as the ABLE Act. Provides for the use of financial organizations as account depositories and managers, requirements for establishment of an account, limitations on deposits, distributions from accounts, and the establishment of the ABLE savings program trust fund and the ABLE Savings Expense Fund.

Wisconsin

Senate Bill 21—Provides for the Executive Budget Act. Amends, repeals and enacts provisions relating to public contracts, ABLE accounts, the prevailing wage, forest products and taxes, teacher loans, child welfare services, job programs, juvenile delinquency, vehicle fees, municipal room taxes, income taxes, development zones, food safety, electrical codes, school funding, alcoholic beverage licenses, health care provider assessments, restaurant safety, health insurance provider reimbursement and other matters.

Other Disability Employment Issues

California

Senate CR 64—Recognizes the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Illinois

House Bill 4049—Amends the Statute on Statutes, the Disabled Persons Rehabilitation Act, the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Administrative Act, the Illinois Public Aid Code, and other various acts. Changes all occurrences of the physically handicapped to persons with physical disabilities Changes all occurrences of the handicapped or handicapped persons or handicapped individuals to persons with disabilities, and changes all occurrences of handicapping condition to disabling condition.

House Bill 2755—Creates the MC/DD Act. Provides that long-term care for under age 22 facilities shall be licensed as medically complex for the developmentally disabled facilities under the act. Provides for the rights of residents and responsibilities of facilities, licensing, violations and penalties, monthly billing claims, and transfer or discharge of resident.

Indiana

Senate Bill 420—Relates to developmental disability terminology. Makes technical corrections to statutory language.

Nevada

Assembly Bill 200—Makes certain voting members of the Subcommittee on Communication Services for Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Persons with Speech Disabilities of the state Commission on Services for Persons with Disabilities nonvoting members. Requires the subcommittee to make certain recommendations. Revises provisions relating to the program to provide devices for telecommunication to persons with impaired speech or hearing.

North Dakota

House Bill 1108—Relates to changing statutory references to developmentally disabled persons to individual with a developmental disability or individuals with developmental disabilities. Provides for a study of needs of individuals with developmental disabilities in North Dakota and for facilitation of coordination of the activities of all state departments, divisions, agencies, and institutions having responsibilities in the field of developmental disabilities.

Oregon

Senate Bill 774—Requires the Home Care Commission to adopt a plan to increase participation in the home care registry, increase the number of home care workers, continue work to create a career ladder for such workers so that they may become greater skilled and gain certifications to provide medical or behavioral health services and support, and continue in-person home care worker orientation sessions. Requires the commission to contract with a public or private entity to recommend the design for the plan.

Texas

Senate Bill 219—Relates to the provision of health and human services in this state and the licensing of mental health professionals. Clarifies certain statutory provisions. Authorizes the imposition of fees, replaces mental retardation with intellectual disability. Relates to commitment proceedings for a child, juvenile detention and home detention, family and protective services, medical assistance, alternative abuse response, medical records, unreimbursed costs, public health violations and carrier liability insurance.

 

 

This report was developed in cooperation with the State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED), a collaborative effort through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy with state intermediary organizations, including the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the Council of State Governments (CSG), and the Women in Government (WIG), to help state legislators effectively address policy barriers that may hinder the employment of people with disabilities. Through these partnerships, the SEED collaborative is dedicated to ensuring that state policymakers have the tools and resources they need to develop and disseminate meaningful polices related to disability-inclusive workforce development.