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Gov. Laura Kelly signs bipartisan bill creating disability savings program

By: - April 8, 2022 8:44 am
Gov. Laura Kelly signed a collection of bipartisan bills approved by the Kansas Legislature, including a measure allowing people with disabilities to open savings accounts with the state treasurer.(Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Gov. Laura Kelly signed a collection of bipartisan bills approved by the Kansas Legislature, including a measure allowing people with disabilities to open savings accounts with the state treasurer.(Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly signed a bill designed to help people with disabilities establish tax-advantaged savings accounts with the state treasurer’s office that wouldn’t undermine eligibility for other assistance programs.

The contents of House Bill 2490 passed unanimously by the Kansas Senate and with token opposition in the Kansas House would establish Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, accounts that would be compliant with federal regulations.

On Thursday, state Treasurer Lynn Rogers said the structure of the savings program would grant Kansans with a disability an opportunity to save for future expenditures. An estimated 100 people would likely establish an ABLE account due to bill’s elimination of conflict between federal and state law.

The bill set up a procedure that allows conservators, guardians or a person authorized by the state treasurer to act on behalf of a designated beneficiary.

“Programs like the ABLE savings account are vital to ensuring barriers don’t stand in the way of Kansans living with disabilities,” Kelly said. “The program helps get Kansans the services needed to have fulfilling, healthy lives without fear of losing other necessary assistance.”

Kelly also signed House Bill 2231 that amended the definition of the crime of conducting a pyramid promotional scheme as well as House Bill 2608 to authorize the state’s judicial districts to contract for collection services for criminal restitution.

She put her signature to House Bill 2712 to establish a Kansas commission for the U. S. semiquincentennial observance of the country’s 250th anniversary on July 4, 2026.

In addition, Kelly put into law contents of House Bill 2110 requiring the State Employee Health Care Commission to require the state employee health insurance plan to conduct a one-year pilot by covering diagnosis and treatment for two pediatric medical disorders capable of leading to profound neuropsychiatric disabilities.

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Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.

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