TASK FORCE ON THE MARYLAND ACHIEVING A BETTER LIFE EXPERIENCE (ABLE) PROGRAM

William J. Frank, Chair (chosen by Governor)

Appointed by Governor: Angela Fox, Esq.; Renee A. Gordon, Esq.; Mary E. O'Byrne, Esq.; Dinah N. Pyles; Heather Berner Sachs; Stuart Spielman, Esq.

Appointed by Senate President: Brian J. Feldman; Andrew A. Serafini.

Appointed by House Speaker: Eric M. Bromwell; one vacancy.

Ex officio: Hisham M. Amin, designee of Attorney General; Susanne Brogan, Esq., designee of State Treasurer; William J. Frank, designee of Secretary of Disabilities; Patricia Sastoque, designee of Secretary of Health & Mental Hygiene; Lauren J. Shipley, Acting Executive Director, College Savings Plans of Maryland Board.

Staff: Anne P. Blackfield, Esq.

c/o Dept. of Disabilities
217 East Redwood St., Suite 1300, Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 767-3652 (voice & tty); 1-800-637-4113 (toll free, voice & tty)
e-mail: anne.blackfield@maryland.gov
web: www.mdod.maryland.gov/about/pages/able-act-taskforce.aspx

In June 2015, the Task Force on the Maryland Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program was authorized (Chapter 382, Acts of 2015). The Maryland ABLE Program will allow disabled individuals or their families to establish tax-exempt savings accounts to pay qualified expenses for disabled individuals authorized under the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act.

Since it is the intent of the General Assembly that the State establish the Maryland ABLE Program, the Task Force developed a plan for implementing the Program. The Task Force studied how the Program should be structured; whether it should be operated by the State or privately; and what its staff and funding needs would be. Further, the Task Force was to identify potential sources for start-up funding; devise a governance structure for the Program's Board; and determine what State tax benefits ABLE accounts would have. After holding six public meetings and two webinars, the Task Force submitted its recommendations for legislation in the 2016 legislative session.

In December 2015, the Task Force submitted its report to the Governor and the General Assembly.

Authorization for the Task Force ended June 30, 2016.

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