The Illinois Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act has passed and been signed by the Governor.

Following the passage of the ABLE Act at the federal level in December 2014, the Illinois ABLE Act made its way through the state legislature and became law on July 27, 2015.

Congratulations and thanks to the many advocates who worked to pass the state ABLE Act allowing Illinois to establish an ABLE program!

Here is link to the Illinois ABLE Act (SB 1383)

There were multiple ABLE bills introduced in Illinois (SB 1383, HB 3117, HB 3360, HB 3370) and many sponsors, who are listed below. If your State Representative and/or State Senator is on this list, please thank them for their support. (To find out who your state legislators are, type in your address on this page, and scroll down to see your State Representative and State Senator.)

State Senators who sponsored ABLE:
Neil Anderson
Scott M. Bennett
Thomas Cullerton
Toi W. Hutchinson
Emil Jones, III
David Koehler
Julie A. Morrison
Antonio Muñoz
Michael Noland
Jim Oberweis
Sue Rezin
Chapin Rose
Patricia Van Pelt

State Representatives who sponsored ABLE:
Carol Ammons
John D. Anthony
Daniel V. Beiser
Patricia R. Bellock
Dan Brady
Kelly Burke
Kelly M. Cassidy
Linda Chapa LaVia
Katherine Cloonen
Fred Crespo
John D’Amico
Tom Demmer
Laura Fine
Mary E. Flowers
La Shawn K. Ford
Will Guzzardi
Norine Hammond
Elizabeth Hernandez
Frances Ann Hurley
Robert F. Martwick
Rita Mayfield
Charles E. Meier
Michelle Mussman
Elaine Nekritz
Robert W. Pritchard
Cynthia Soto
Silvana Tabares
Arthur Turner
Michael Unes
Emanuel Chris Welch
Ann Williams
Kathleen Willis

Here is a sample script to use when thanking legislators for sponsoring ABLE:

I am calling to thank [NAME] for sponsoring the ABLE Act in Illinois. There were multiple ABLE bills in Illinois (HB 3117, HB 3360, HB 3370 and SB 1383). SB 1383 passed and was signed by the Governor on July 27. This new law will help families like mine save for expenses of their children with disabilities, and will enable adults with disabilities to live more independently. We look forward to opening an ABLE account once the program has been established. Thanks to [NAME] for his/her leadership and support!

Although the ABLE Act has passed in Illinois, ABLE accounts will not be available for some time because the program needs to be developed and implemented according to the new law. NDSS will send an announcement when it is possible to open an ABLE account in Illinois.

For more information about the implementation of ABLE in the states, please visit the NDSS state ABLE webpage:

Thanks again to all those who advocated for ABLE at the federal and state level!

Heather B. Sachs, J.D.
Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy
National Down Syndrome Society
1602 L St. NW, Suite 925
Washington, DC 20036
E-mail: hsachs@ndss.org
www.ndss.org