Tom’s vote: YES
HB 768 establishes the Georgia ABLE Program (‘Georgia Achieving a Better Life Experience’), modeled after education savings plans under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, whereby disabled individuals can save private funds in tax-exempt accounts to pay for qualified disability expenses without becoming ineligible for Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for possessing in excess of $2,000 in assets. Similar legislation has been passed in 35 other states.
The ABLE program will be administered by the Georgia ABLE Program Corporation which will be governed by a board of directors consisting of the Commissioner of Community Health, the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, the State Auditor, the State Treasurer, and three members appointed by the Governor. The Corporation is assigned to the Department of Administrative Services for administrative purposes only and the Georgia ABLE Program Trust Fund – which will receive all payments and contributions – shall be located in the Office of the State Treasurer where the funds will be invested by the Treasurer pursuant to the investment plan adopted by the ABLE Program Board. Georgia may also participate jointly with other states with ABLE programs to raise the necessary assets required to fund the program.