President Barack Obama signed legislation Thursday designed to close a funding loophole threatening the nation’s independent living centers, which offer a variety of services to individuals with disabilities.

The law comes in response to a funding disparity which emerged as a result of last year’s stimulus package, leaving some independent living centers eligible for far more money in future years, while other centers would be underfunded.

The legislation signed by Obama this week closes the gap, ensuring that stimulus dollars won’t compromise future funding of the centers.

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The viability of independent living centers is significant given that in many parts of the country the centers are the “primary provider of services” for residents with disabilities, said the legislation’s sponsor Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., in a statement Friday.

“Independent living centers play a critical role for people with disabilities, providing key services like peer counseling and advocacy and promoting access and participation,” Miller said. “This law goes a long way toward ensuring independent living centers do not have to reduce services for people with disabilities.”

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