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Bennett moves bill to improve children’s higher education savings program
 
SPRINGFIELD – Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced a measure through the Senate Higher Education committee Tuesday that will improve the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program.
“This program provides every child born or adopted in Illinois with a head start on saving for college,” Bennett said. “This measure gives the Illinois treasurer a realistic timeline and practical tools to implement the program and make sure every Illinois child has a path to higher education from day one.”
In 2019, the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program, established as part of the Illinois treasurer’s existing Bright Start and Bright Directions programs, was signed into law. Under this law, the treasurer will automatically deposit $50 into a college savings account for every child born or adopted in Illinois after Dec. 31, 2020.
Bennett’s legislation requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to provide the treasurer with information on recent births and adoptions in Illinois for the purpose of enrolling children in the program beginning in 2021. Additionally, the legislation also requires the Illinois Department of Revenue to provide the treasurer with information on tax filers claiming dependents or the adoption tax credit for purposes of enrolling children in the program.
The legislation adjusts program eligibility to children born on or after Jan. 1, 2023 to acknowledge the lack of funding and legislative appropriation due to COVID-19.
Senate Bill 166 moves to the full Senate for consideration.
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