U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., spoke in favor of legislation today that would help those with disabilities live more independent lives. The ABLE Act would allow those with disabilities and their families to open tax-exempt accounts so that they can plan how to best use their own funds to cover their living expenses.
During his opening statement in the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight hearing, Enzi noted that this bill, which is supported by 75 Senators and 366 Representatives, is one small step Congress can take to help those with disabilities support themselves, pursue their dreams, and put themselves in a place of greater financial security.
“In our economy, many families are very familiar with the challenge of saving for the future well-being and needs of their children. A family with a disabled individual faces even more unique emotional and financial obstacles,” said Enzi. “The ABLE Act would help these families meet these challenges, whether it's paying for specialized care or a more individualized education to maintain their health and their independence, or provide for a better quality of life.”
Enzi shared the story of one of his constituents, Alees Rogers of Uinta County Wyoming, who has a developmental disability and has been helped by her community.
“…with assistance for housing and other care, she was able to take a job after graduating from high school at First Bank where she sorts mail and shreds documents. She also lives independently in her own apartment. The ABLE Act could help her to accomplish even more as she continues to plan for her future,” said Enzi.
Enzi also highlighted an innovative college program in Wyoming called the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND). The program helps individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, professionals, and University of Wyoming students through education, training, community services and early intervention. These types of services combined with the ABLE Act strengthen the opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to grow, achieve, and succeed, Enzi said.
Click here to watch excerpts of Senator Enzi’s statement.