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Black voters in battleground states are a crucial voting bloc in 2024; Nikki Haley says she's voting for Trump in November; healthcare advocates suggest medical collaboration to treat fibroids; distinct vibes at IU Indianapolis pro-Palestinian protest.

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The House GOP moves to strike mention of Trump's criminal trial from the record, and his former rival Nikki Haley endorses him. Meanwhile, Ohio Republicans reject a legislative fix to ensure Biden's name appears on the November ballot.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Advocates for Iowans with disabilities push for higher income limits

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Monday, March 11, 2024   

Iowa lawmakers are being asked to make changes to the income laws for people with disabilities.

Disabilities advocates are hold an event at the Statehouse tomorrow in support of House File 2589.

Also known as the "Work Without Worry" bill, it would raise the income limit and eliminate the asset ceiling for people with disabilities - allowing them to remain eligible for federal benefits.

Thirty-four-year-old Ben Grauer is quadriplegic and works at the University of Iowa. He said the measure would open the door to more employment for the 12,000 Iowans with disabilities who rely on Medicaid benefits.

"Yeah, it's hugely important," said Grauer. "Iowans with disabilities, myself included, want to work and are capable of working and contributing to society, and growing Iowa's economic base and contributing to the tax base."

Grauer said the current $51,000 income limit for a family discourages work for people with disabilities, who want jobs but need to retain their benefits as well.

Disabilities advocates are holding an all day event at the Capitol tomorrow, encouraging people who back the measure to talk to legislators and show their support.

HF 2589 would decouple the family and individual income limits, meaning an individual's income could be counted separately and not factor into the family total.

It would also remove the current $13,000 asset limit for a family to qualify for benefits.

Grauer said that would allow families to make better financial plans.

"That's certainly not very high," said Grauer. "And if we're thinking about wanting to save for your future or save for a vehicle or save for a house - which requires a large downpayment - a couple certainly can't make that downpayment based on an allowable asset limit of $13,000."

The bill would increase the allowable individual asset limit and boost the family limit to 450% of the Federal Poverty Level. HF 2589 awaits action in the Appropriations Committee.




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