Lawmakers Celebrate Bill That Would Help Families With Autistic Children

On Friday in Hartford, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal along with Congressmen John Larson and Elizabeth Esty celebrated the bipartisan passage of the ABLE Act. ABLE, which stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience, is aimed at easing the impact autism has on families across the country.

“The able act allows for families to put aside money, tax free, so it can grow and then be taken out to pay for expenses such as education or housing,” said Sen. Murphy.

It is a bill Shannon Knall, a Simsbury native and Autism Speaks Connecticut Advocacy Chair, has been waiting for. Knall’s son Jack is autistic and she knows firsthand how hard looking ahead can be.

“One of the issues I often talk about when I speak about autism is that we have little to no opportunity to plan for our future,” said Knall.

According to Sen. Blumenthal, the bill was one of the most popular in Congress and now Knall is thanking them for their support.

“They said that our families matter, our children are important, that there future is a priority,” said Knall.

The bill is now waiting for President Obama’s signature. He is expected to sign it before the end of the year.

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