December 17,1999

Bill to Help Americans with Disabilities Return to Work Signed into Law

Legislation Also Includes Extension of Expiring Tax Provisions

WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) today released the following statement on the signing of H.R. 1180, the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999.

"We have something special to celebrate this holiday season: the gift of independence," Roth stated. "The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 will help Americans with disabilities live richer, more productive lives. Its core purpose is to assist individuals with disabilities return to work if they so choose. It removes the impossible choice too many people with disabilities face between working or keeping their health insurance, and it provides new ways of helping them find and keep meaningful employment. We will all benefit from the unleashed creativity and enthusiasm of talented individuals joining the workforce.

"This bill also extends expiring tax and trade provisions. This bill corrects an upcoming problem for millions of middle-income Americans who otherwise would be hard hit by the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) by ensuring that these families can continue to take their child credit, dependent care credit, Hope Scholarship credit, Lifetime Learning credit, and other family tax credits. This relief is effective through the end of 2001.

"Under this legislation, employees who participate in employer-provided educational assistance programs will receive those benefits tax-free through the end of 2001 for undergraduate education.

"This legislation will help people who are leaving the welfare rolls and other hard-to-place workers get jobs by extending the Work Opportunities Tax Credit and the Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit until the end of 2001.

"It also extends the critically important research credit ('R&D') for five years, which helps businesses expand and create jobs and has helped to make American business the best in the world.

"Finally, I am pleased to report that it includes a provision that extends and amends section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code to provide a tax credit to biomass energy facilities that use poultry litter as a fuel for generating electricity. This provision will help thousands of family farms. In the Delmarva area alone, there are 2600 poultry growers who could potentially benefit."