Illinois hosts forum on savings program for disabled

CHICAGO (AP) — Officials from 35 states and 17 private companies are attending a forum in Chicago to learn about a new type of family savings program to cover expenses for people with disabilities.

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs is hosting the two-day meeting, which ends Friday. State treasurers’ offices sent representatives to learn about implementing a federal law enacted late last year called the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, or the ABLE Act.

The legislation allows Americans with disabilities to open tax-free bank accounts to pay for needs such as education, housing and health care. It was modeled after tax-free college savings accounts.

In Illinois, state Sen. Scott Bennett of Champaign and Rep. Kelly Burke of Oak Lawn sponsored legislation to establish the program. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the measure July 27.