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McEachin & Langevin Re-Introduce Legislation to Strengthen the Landmark ADA Civil Rights Law & Help More Small Businesses Become Accessible

Statement

Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) re-introduced the Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act today with Congressman Jim Langevin (RI-02) to make it easier for small businesses to become accessible for people with disabilities and help those businesses comply with the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This legislation bolsters the existing Disabled Access Credit (DAC), which helps businesses pay for renovations by doubling the maximum tax credit and allowing more small businesses to receive it. The legislation also invests in programs that mediate ADA-related disputes to avoid additional litigation and help individuals and businesses understand the ADA. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), the Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

"We are reintroducing the DACE Act because it is imperative that we improve access for Americans with disabilities," said Congressman A. Donald McEachin. "By expanding the tax credit that allows small business owners to proactively accommodate and include those with disabilities, the DACE Act renews our commitment to fairness and equal access. On the eve of the 29th anniversary of the ADA, I am humbled to reintroduce this bill with Congressman Langevin and Senator Duckworth to support both Americans with disabilities and our small business community."

"The Americans with Disabilities Act is a groundbreaking civil rights law that has had profound impacts on me and millions of my fellow citizens," said Congressman Jim Langevin, co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus. "However, twenty-nine years after it was signed into law, we're still fighting to break down barriers to access and inclusion. The Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act will help more small businesses comply with the ADA and ensure our communities are open to all. I'm proud to spearhead this effort with Congressman McEachin in the House, and I look forward to working with Senator Duckworth to get this bill signed into law."

"I'm proud to work with my colleagues on this important legislation to strengthen the ADA and give Americans with disabilities increased opportunity to fully participate in our society," Senator Duckworth said. "This bill will help more businesses across the country comply with a nearly 30-year-old law that protects the rights of people with disabilities. It is a common-sense alternative to misguided efforts that would roll back hard-earned protections for people with disabilities by rewarding businesses who refuse to comply with the ADA instead of encouraging them to become accessible."

"After 29 years, many businesses still struggle to provide full access to people with disabilities, said disAbility Law Center of Virginia Director Colleen Miller. "This legislation will help to open doors that have been closed for far too long."

The Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act would:
-Expand the Disabled Access Credit (DAC): Increase eligible expenses businesses can write off in order to make their facilities ADA-compliant to $20,500, double the maximum credit from $5,000 to $10,125, and expand the definition of small businesses to companies with gross receipts of $2.5 million or less from $1 million or less.
-Increase Funding for the ADA Mediation Program: Make the Department of Justice's (DOJ) ADA Mediation -Program eligible to receive funding to train contracted mediators and increase personnel to help individuals with disabilities and businesses reach a resolution without increased litigation. The legislation would appropriate $1 million for the 2019 fiscal year to support these efforts.
-Collect ADA Information Line Data: Require DOJ to provide a report to Congress on the specific types of calls the ADA Information Line receives in order to improve the ways individuals with disabilities and businesses learn about their rights and how facilities can become ADA-compliant


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