To learn more about the ABLE Act view the webinar here.
To learn more about the ABLE Act view the webinar here.
Join the Autism Society of Nebraska along with other organizations to encourage senators to move LB591 out of Committee and support this new bill that gives Nebraska Families a tax-free savings option for individuals with special needs.
Please submit your letter of support to the emails below no later than Tuesday March 10th, 2015 at noon, thanks!
Senator Lydia Brasch
Senator Davis Albert
Senator Mike Gloor
Senator Burke Harr
Senator Jim Scheer
Senator Paul Schumacher
Senator Jim Smith
Senator Kate Sullivan
On Thursday, 1/22, I had the opportunity to testify in front of the Government Committee in Lincoln regarding potential legislation, LB 163. LB 163 is important for us because it would create, and provide funding for, a statewide Public Safety platform that would help all families. At the heart of it, it would implement a system known as Smart911 which would allow families (for free) to create “Safety Profiles” which can include things like photos and physical descriptions, health and medical information, rescue needs and much more. ABC News and Good morning America recently called it a “Personal Safety Game Changer” in this story: http://youtu.be/-pgpJzK4d9U
You can learn more about LB 163 here: http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/bills/view_bill.php?DocumentID=24901
Here is where we need your help… The bill’s first hurdle is to get out of committee so we need your help. If you are a constituent of one of the following Senators, we need you to email them and let them know you are in support of LB 163.
Committee Chairperson: John Murante District 49 Sarpy County firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Chair: Tommy Garrett District 3 Sarpy County email@example.com
Dave Bloomfield District 17 Wayne County firstname.lastname@example.org
Joni Craighead District 6 Douglas County email@example.com
Mike Groene District 42 Lincoln County firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Hansen District 26 Lancaster County email@example.com
Tyson Larson District 40 Holt County firstname.lastname@example.org
Beau McCoy District 39 Douglas County email@example.com
After the bill moves out of committee we will direct the efforts to a larger audience across the entire state.
I’ve provided a sample email below.
My name is ______ _______ from ________. I am reaching out to you to voice my strong support for LB163 currently being reviewed by Government, Military and Veterans Affair Committee.
LB 163 can save lives by enhancing location information and delivering additional details about the caller, their family, and the location that will help Public Safety respond faster and more effectively. As part of a nationwide, secure Public Safety network, LB 163 would be able to assist our community members not only while they are in Nebraska, but nationwide.
LB 163 would make a difference by allowing 9-1-1 and first responders to instantly have photos and physical descriptions for missing persons, dramatically reducing response times and increasing successful rescues. LB 163 would also create a much needed next of kin registry that could be used to quickly identify and locate family members.
Thank you very much for your support of LB 163 and the tremendous, positive impact it can have here in Nebraska.
Thank you for your time,
City, State, Zip
President Obama on Friday signed into law the Achieving a Better Life Experience(ABLE) Act which will allow families with children with disabilities to save for college and other expenses in tax-deferred accounts. The legislation was co-sponsored by Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC). The ABLE Act, first introduced in 2008, amends the Internal Revenue Service Code to allow use of tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. Families will be allowed to use the funds in the savings accounts to cover education, housing, medical and transportation expenses, among others. Now that the President has signed the bill into federal law, it will be up to the individual states to enact the bill. Until now, families with children with disabilities had little incentive to save for their future. If they saved more than $2,000 for college, an apartment or transportation to work, they risked losing critical benefits for their children, including medical and supplemental coverage. This piece of legislation is an important step toward empowering people with disabilities to achieve independence and affirms self-sufficiency.
The Autism Society is proud of our affiliate network and advocacy organizations across the country that took a leadership role in advocating for this bill and for all people with disabilities.
Dear Senator _____________,
LB505 will come out of committee on Tuesday, April 1. I ask for your vote in support of this critical legislation when it comes to the floor.
The autism community and all three major insurers in Nebraska have agreed to the language of this bill. We understand the scope and limitations of LB 505 and we strongly support its passage.
We believe this legislation will affect almost 900 children with autism. Without your support of LB 505, insurance companies will continue to deny coverage for medically necessary autism treatments for these 900 children. Without your support of LB 505, many of these children will never speak. They will never have a meaningful relationship. They will never go to college or get a job. Without your support of LB 505 most of these children will require intensive special education and be dependent on a lifetime of state-funded adult disability support services.
Some legislators have noted that future changes to the ACA may include the addition of autism treatments. This may come and we will continue to lobby our federal legislators. But today we are asking you, the members of the Nebraska Legislature, to help those children who are within your power to help by passing LB 505.
If you’re concerned about the cost of enacting LB505, don’t. Thirty-four other states have enacted laws similar to LB 505. Actual claims data from states whom were among the first to enact such legislation show the average cost of coverage is 31 cents per member per month.
The cost of not providing appropriate treatment to individuals with autism has been estimated to be $3.2 million per child over their lifespan (Ganz, 2007). Much of this expense is associated with intensive special education, adult disability services and decreased productivity.
Failure to enact LB 505 is the high cost option.
Some legislators have expressed reservations about supporting LB 505 because it is a mandate and they are opposed to mandates. . Every law the legislature enacts is a mandate that our elected officials deem appropriate for the protection and betterment of Nebraska’s citizens.
LB 505 is a mandate that will afford access to medically necessary treatment for children with autism while saving the state millions of dollars per child in special education and adult disability supports. LB 505 is a win-win proposition for Nebraska.
The prevalence of autism as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now 1 in every 88 children. This represents a 1,000 fold increase in the past forty years. Autism is an epidemic and a public health crisis. Please pass LB 505.