Hirono Co-Introduces Bill to Help Businesses Comply With ADA
Last week, US Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) was part of a group of Democratic legislators who introduced legislation that would provide business owners financial assistance to renovate their businesses to become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and accessible for people with disabilities.
The Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act would also fund programs that mediate ADA-related disputes to avoid additional litigation and help individuals and businesses understand the ADA. US Representatives Donald McEachin (D-Va.) and Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) introduced companion legislation in the US House of Representatives.
“When businesses and infrastructure are not ADA-compliant, everyday tasks can become challenging for people living with disabilities,” Sen. Hirono said. “The Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act will provide funding to small businesses so they can make structural improvements in order to comply with ADA regulations and increase access for people with disabilities. With this bill, our small businesses will be able to better accommodate and include people living with disabilities in our communities and ensure fair and equal access to all Americans.”
The Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act:
- Expands the Disabled Access Credit (DAC) by doubling the maximum tax credit and allowing more small businesses to receive it. The Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act would increase the number of eligible expenses businesses can write off while updating their facilities to become 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.
- Increases Funding for the ADA Mediation Program by making the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) ADA Mediation Program eligible to receive government funding in order to train contracted mediators and personnel to help individuals with disabilities and businesses reach a resolution without increased litigation. The legislation would appropriate $1 million for the 2021 fiscal year to support these efforts.
- Collects ADA Information Line Data by requiring the DOJ to provide to Congress a report on the specific types of calls the ADA Information Line receives in order to improve the ways individuals with disabilities and business owners learn about their rights and how businesses and facilities can become ADA-compliant.