2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
February 6, 2020 - Introduced by Senators Jacque,
L. Taylor, Bewley, Larson,
Ringhand, Schachtner, Shilling, Miller, Risser and Wirch, cosponsored by
Representatives Subeck, Mursau, Anderson, Billings, Brostoff, Cabrera,
Emerson, Fields, Gundrum, Hesselbein, Kolste, Pope, Sargent, Shankland,
Sinicki, Spiros, Spreitzer, Tusler, Vining, Vruwink, Thiesfeldt, Brandtjen
and Wichgers. Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial
1An Act to amend
71.05 (6) (a) 28.; and to create
224.55 of the statutes; relating
2to: requiring the Department of Financial Institutions to implement a section
3529A ABLE savings account program and granting rule-making authority.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill requires the Department of Financial Institutions to implement a
qualified ABLE program under section 529A
of the Internal Revenue Code allowing
tax-exempt accounts for qualified expenses incurred by individuals with
Under current federal law, states may create a qualified Achieving a Better Life
Experience program under which an individual may establish a tax-exempt savings
account to pay for qualified expenses, such as education, housing, and transportation
costs, for a beneficiary who is an individual with disabilities, as defined under federal
law. Although these accounts, commonly referred to as “ABLE accounts” or “section
529A accounts,” cannot be established under this state's law, they can be established
under another state's law, and if so established, withdrawals from these accounts for
payment of qualified disability expenses for the account beneficiary are exempt from
taxation in this state.
This bill requires DFI to implement and administer a qualified ABLE program,
either directly or by entering into an agreement with another state or alliance of
states to establish an ABLE program or otherwise administer ABLE program
services for the residents of this state. DFI must, within approximately six months,
determine whether implementing the ABLE program directly or by entering into an
agreement is the best option for this state's residents. If DFI enters into an
agreement, the agreement may require the party contracting with DFI to do any of
the following: 1) develop and implement an ABLE program in accordance with all
requirements under federal law and modify the ABLE program as necessary for
participants to qualify for federal income tax benefits; 2) contract for professional
and technical assistance and advice in developing marketing plans and promotional
materials to publicize the ABLE program; 3) work with organizations with expertise
in supporting people with disabilities and their families in administering the
agreement and ensuring accessibility of the ABLE program for people with
disabilities; or 4) take any other action necessary to implement and administer the
ABLE program. The bill also requires DFI to provide on its Internet site and in
written materials certain information concerning ABLE accounts.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
71.05 (6) (a) 28. of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) 28. Upon the termination of an account as described under s. 3
16.643 or 224.55
, any amount in the account that is returned to an account owner's 4
224.55 of the statutes is created to read:
6224.55 Support accounts for individuals with disabilities. (1) 7Definitions.
In this section:
(a) “ABLE account" means an account established under an ABLE program.
(b) “ABLE program” means a qualified ABLE program under section 529A
the Internal Revenue Code.
11(2) Department to establish ABLE program.
(a) Implementation directly or
The department shall implement and administer an ABLE program, 13
either directly or by entering into a formal or informal agreement with another state,
or with an entity representing an alliance of states, to establish an ABLE program 2
or otherwise administer ABLE program services for the residents of this state.
(b) Review of other states' partnership programs.
The department shall review 4
section 529A ABLE state partnership programs offered by other states and, no later 5
than the first day of the 7th month beginning after the effective date of this 6
subsection, determine whether, as the best option for Wisconsin residents, the 7
department will implement the ABLE program under par. (a) directly or by entering 8
into an agreement.
(c) Agreement terms.
An agreement under par. (a) may require the party 10
contracting with the department, in addition to providing any other services, to do 11
any of the following:
1. Develop and implement an ABLE program in accordance with all 13
requirements under section 529A
of the Internal Revenue Code, and modify this 14
ABLE program as necessary for participants in the ABLE program to qualify for the 15
federal income tax benefits or treatment provided under section 529A
of the Internal 16
Revenue Code and rules adopted under section 529A.
2. Engage the services of vendors on a contractual basis for rendering 18
professional and technical assistance and advice in developing marketing plans and 19
promotional materials to publicize the ABLE program.
3. Work with organizations with expertise in supporting people with 21
disabilities and their families in administering the agreement and ensuring 22
accessibility of the ABLE program for people with disabilities.
4. Take any other action necessary to implement and administer the ABLE 24
(d) Information about ABLE accounts
. The department shall include on its 2
Internet site information concerning ABLE accounts, including current information 3
on each state that offers ABLE accounts, information on how residents of this state 4
may participate in those ABLE accounts, and links to resources to provide 5
information about ABLE accounts in those states. The department shall also provide 6
such information in written materials it prepares about ABLE accounts. The 7
department shall provide a link, on its Internet site, to the Internet site of the 8
department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection to facilitate the filing of 9
complaints related to ABLE accounts.
The department shall keep confidential any personal and 11
financial information maintained by the department relating to an ABLE account.
12(4) Funding; rules.
(a) All expenses incurred by the department under this 13
section shall be paid from the appropriation under s. 20.144 (1) (g).
(b) The department may promulgate rules to implement and administer this 15