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Reese, Martin bill would fund business startups for people with disabilities
Herald-Journal - 2/7/2020
Feb. 7--After going nowhere last year, area lawmakers have re-introduced a bill that would let taxpayers donate part of their tax return to fund business startups for people with disabilities.
State Sens. Glenn Reese, D-Inman, and Shane Martin, R-Pauline, introduced the bill at the request of Charles "Kenny" Price, a disabled Spartanburg County resident who wants to buy a food truck to run a barbecue pit catering business.
The bill was referred to the Senate medical affairs committee. Last year, the bill did not make it out of committee, Price said.
A House version of the same bill was introduced by Rep. Steven Long, R-Boiling Springs. It was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
The bill would create a "disabled self-employment development trust fund" administered by the S.C. Department of Disabilities and Needs.
Taxpayers could donate a portion of their state tax return to the fund.
To qualify for a grant, a person with disabilities must be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and agree to provide a business plan.
Price, a 55-year-old resident of Boiling Springs who is living on Social Security and Medicare, was born with cerebral palsy.
Four years ago, he ran unsuccessfully against Republican state Sen. Harvey Peeler of Gaffney, who is now president of the Senate.
Coming from a military family, Price said he wants to start a business so he can earn his own income and rely less on government subsidies.
"They want to give BMW and Boeing more money but they don't want a veteran with a disability to get a job," he said. "We need to make voters aware. You need to call (lawmakers) and get this bill passed."
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