State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) is pleased to announce changes to a new federal law affecting individuals with disabilities. Effective this year, the $2,000 cap on savings accounts for individuals with disabilities has been lifted.

According to State Representative Charlie Meier, “healthcare and the cost of living is not getting any cheaper.  Giving individuals with disabilities an option to save money for housing, healthcare, and transportation costs will certainly improve one’s quality of life and is just common sense.”

In December 2014, President Obama signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) into law. ABLE accounts are similar to 529 education savings accounts and will allow individuals and families to save for disability related expenses without jeopardizing disability benefits provided by Social Security and Medicaid.

Rep. Meier added, “prior to the ABLE Act, individuals with disabilities were not given the same financial incentives as persons without disabilities - putting individuals and families at a disadvantage by essentially penalizing individuals with disabilities from obtaining adequate private funds to take care of their well-being.  Furthermore, the ABLE Act will give more control to an individuals needs by having the opportunity to save without the risk of losing their benefits.”

Representative Meier is a strong advocate for individuals with disabilities in the Illinois General Assembly.  If you have a question or issue regarding state government, please contact Representative Meier’s office at 618-651-0405.

Listen to Rep. Meier's interview on the ABLE Act here 
State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) recently pre-filed legislation to ban convicted terrorists from teaching in Illinois’ public universities and community college system.

“Convicted terrorists should not be teaching in our classrooms,” said Rep. Meier.  “Using public funds to pay a convicted terrorist to teach our next generation is an insult to our country.  My bill seeks to ban convicted terrorists from teaching in our public higher education system.”

Representative Meier introduced the legislation as a result of the University of Illinois rehiring a professor who was a former member of a terrorist organization named the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA).  In 1975, the professor (SLA member) served six years in prison for his involvement in a bank robbery which resulted in the death of a woman.

Rep. Meier added, “allowing a convicted terrorist to teach at one of our country’s premier institutions is even more of an insult to the men and women protecting our country from terrorism each day.  This bill will also send a message that Illinois does not support terrorism.”

The legislation is House Bill 150 and will be considered when the 99th General Assembly convenes on January 15th.