Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Educational and Opportunities for Developmentally Disabled Savings Pool

Here is a student editorial I wanted to share. 

I am writing in favor of House Bill 3032 which states that this bill 
...authorizes the state treasurer (Illinois) to establish and administer an Educational and Opportunities for the Developmentally Disabled Savings Pool to supplement and enhance the investment opportunities otherwise available to persons seeking to finance the cost of providing expanded educational and employment opportunities to persons with a developmental disability. Provides that participants in the pool are required to use money distributed from the pool for qualified expenses. Contains penalty provisions. Creates a deduction for individual tax payers equal to the amount contributed by the tax payer up to $20,000 to an Educational Opportunity for the Developmentally Disabled Savings Pool account during the taxable year. Effective immediately.
I believe this bill should be passed for various reasons, one of which being that the state of Illinois could finally recognize all people within it’s borders as productive, contributing citizens to their communities, and therefore are worthy of having such a resolution passed to help supplement their educational goals. According to, Illinois is dead last to provide appropriate services to those with disabilities. Those with developmental disabilities (DD) would be able to be productive, contributing citizens in their communities and those that choose to contribute to the pool will get a tax write-off up to $20,000. With the Illinois economy the way it is right now it is crucial to save every dime we can by claiming it on our tax returns.
According to an article by Amanda Drapiewski for the Southwest Suburban News/Herald in Chicago, the estimated lifetime costs for those born in 2000 with DD are expected to total more than $50 billion for people with mental retardation and $11.5 billion for people with cerebral palsy. The act that is being brought up for amendment could greatly lower the costs of people having to pay taxes for the care of people having developmental disabilities, and it gives the citizens of Illinois the chance to choose how much they want to contribute to the pool.
In today’s society we preach equal opportunity for everyone. By providing a well-rounded education and equal employment opportunities for those with DD we would set a very good example for our future generations. Parents contributing to this pool will set an example to their children to also contribute in the future to a worthy cause. Also, it’s about time for a bill like this, because it is the twenty-first century and we need to get with it when it comes to helping people with developmental disabilities. 
Many more bills are needed to help improve the lives of people with DD, but this is a good start. As stated on, Illinois ranks 43rd lowest of the 50 states and DC in funding community-based support and services for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Illinois also ranks 51st of the 50 states and DC in the percentage of individuals with DD living in community-based residential settings. Obviously, much more needs to be done. I believe passing this bill will encourage people to contribute to the pool and help get the ball rolling as well.

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