Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB0573
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Full Text of HB0573  102nd General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning State government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The State Treasurer Act is amended by changing
5Section 16.8 as follows:
6    (15 ILCS 505/16.8)
7    Sec. 16.8. Illinois Higher Education Savings Program.
8    (a) Definitions. As used in this Section:
9    "Beneficiary" means an eligible child named as a recipient
10of seed funds.
11    "College savings account" means a 529 plan account
12established under Section 16.5.
13    "Eligible child" means a child born or adopted after
14December 31, 2022 2020, to a parent who is a resident of
15Illinois at the time of the birth or adoption, as evidenced by
16documentation received by the Treasurer from the Department of
17Revenue, the Department of Public Health, or another State or
18local government agency.
19    "Eligible educational institution" means institutions that
20are described in Section 1001 of the federal Higher Education
21Act of 1965 that are eligible to participate in Department of
22Education student aid programs.
23    "Fund" means the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program



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2    "Omnibus account" means the pooled collection of seed
3funds owned and managed by the State Treasurer in the College
4Savings Pool under this Act.
5    "Program" means the Illinois Higher Education Savings
7    "Qualified higher education expense" means the following:
8(i) tuition, fees, and the costs of books, supplies, and
9equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible
10educational institution; (ii) expenses for special needs
11services, in the case of a special needs beneficiary, which
12are incurred in connection with such enrollment or attendance;
13(iii) certain expenses for the purchase of computer or
14peripheral equipment, computer software, or Internet access
15and related services as defined under Section 529 of the
16Internal Revenue Code; and (iv) room and board expenses
17incurred while attending an eligible educational institution
18at least half-time; (v) expenses for fees, books, supplies,
19and equipment required for the participation of a designated
20beneficiary in an apprenticeship program registered and
21certified with the Secretary of Labor under the National
22Apprenticeship Act (29 U.S.C. 50); and (vi) amounts paid as
23principal or interest on any qualified education loan of the
24designated beneficiary or a sibling of the designated
25beneficiary, as allowed under Section 529 of the Internal
26Revenue Code.



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1    "Seed funds" means the deposit made by the State Treasurer
2into the Omnibus Accounts for Program beneficiaries.
3    (b) Program established. The State Treasurer shall
4establish the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program as a
5part of the College Savings Pool under Section 16.5 of this
6Act, subject to appropriation by the General Assembly provided
7that sufficient funds are available. The State Treasurer shall
8administer the Program for the purposes of expanding access to
9higher education through savings.
10    (c) Program enrollment. The State Treasurer shall enroll
11all eligible children in the Program beginning in 2023 2021,
12after receiving records of recent births, adoptions, or
13dependents from the Department of Revenue, the Department of
14Public Health, or another State or local government agency
15designated by the Treasurer. Notwithstanding any court order
16which would otherwise prevent the release of information, the
17Department of Public Health is authorized to release the
18information specified under this subsection (c) to the State
19Treasurer for the purposes of the Program established under
20this Section.
21        (1) Beginning in 2021, On and after the effective date
22    of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly, the
23    Department of Revenue and the Department of Public Health
24    shall provide the State Treasurer with information on
25    recent Illinois births and , adoptions and dependents
26    including, but not limited to: the full name, residential



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1    address, and birth date, and birth record number of the
2    child and the full name and residential address of the
3    child's parent or legal guardian for the purpose of
4    enrolling eligible children in the Program. This data
5    shall be provided to the State Treasurer by the Department
6    of Revenue and the Department of Public Health on a
7    quarterly basis, no later than 30 days after the end of
8    each quarter, or some other date and frequency as mutually
9    agreed to by the State Treasurer and the Department of
10    Public Health.
11        (1.5) Beginning in 2021, the Department of Revenue
12    shall provide the State Treasurer with information on tax
13    filers claiming dependents or the adoption tax credit
14    including, but not limited to: the full name, residential
15    address, email address, phone number, birth date, and
16    social security number or taxpayer identification number
17    of the dependent child and of the child's parent or legal
18    guardian for the purpose of enrolling eligible children in
19    the Program. This data shall be provided to the State
20    Treasurer by the Department of Revenue on at least an
21    annual basis, by July 1 of each year or another date
22    jointly determined by the State Treasurer and the
23    Department of Revenue. Notwithstanding anything to the
24    contrary contained within this paragraph (2), the
25    Department of Revenue shall not be required to share any
26    information that would be contrary to federal law,



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1    regulation, or Internal Revenue Service Publication 1075.
2        (2) The State Treasurer shall ensure the security and
3    confidentiality of the information provided by the
4    Department of Revenue, the Department of Public Health, or
5    another State or local government agency, and it shall not
6    be subject to release under the Freedom of Information
7    Act.
8        (3) Information provided under this Section shall only
9    be used by the State Treasurer for the Program and shall
10    not be used for any other purpose.
11        (4) The State Treasurer and any vendors working on the
12    Program shall maintain strict confidentiality of any
13    information provided under this Section, and shall
14    promptly provide written or electronic notice to the
15    providing agency of any security breach. The providing
16    State or local government agency shall remain the sole and
17    exclusive owner of information provided under this
18    Section.
19    (d) Seed funds. After receiving information on recent
20births, adoptions, or dependents from the Department of
21Revenue, the Department of Public Health, or another State or
22local government agency, the State Treasurer shall make
23deposits a deposit into an omnibus account of the Fund on
24behalf of each eligible children child. The State Treasurer
25shall be the owner of the omnibus accounts. The deposit of seed
26funds shall be subject to appropriation by the General



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2        (1) Deposit amount. The seed fund deposit for each
3    eligible child shall be in the amount of $50. This amount
4    may be increased by the State Treasurer by rule. The State
5    Treasurer may use or deposit funds appropriated by the
6    General Assembly together with moneys received as gifts,
7    grants, or contributions into the Fund. If insufficient
8    funds are available in the Fund, the State Treasurer may
9    reduce the deposit amount or forego deposits.
10        (2) Use of seed funds. Seed funds, including any
11    interest, dividends, and other earnings accrued, will be
12    eligible for use by a beneficiary for qualified higher
13    education expenses if:
14            (A) the parent or guardian of the eligible child
15        claimed the seed funds for the beneficiary by the
16        beneficiary's 10th birthday;
17            (B) the beneficiary has completed secondary
18        education or has reached the age of 18; and
19            (C) the beneficiary is currently a resident of the
20        State of Illinois. Non-residents are not eligible to
21        claim or use seed funds.
22        (3) Notice of seed fund availability. The State
23    Treasurer shall make a good faith effort to notify
24    beneficiaries and their parents or legal guardians of the
25    seed funds' availability and the deadline to claim such
26    funds.



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1        (4) Unclaimed seed funds. Seed funds and any interest
2    earnings that are unclaimed by the beneficiary's 10th
3    birthday or unused by the beneficiary's 26th birthday will
4    be considered forfeited. Unclaimed and unused seed funds
5    and any interest earnings will remain in the omnibus
6    account for future beneficiaries.
7    (e) Financial education. The State Treasurer may develop
8educational materials that support the financial literacy of
9beneficiaries and their legal guardians, and may do so in
10collaboration with State and federal agencies, including, but
11not limited to, the Illinois State Board of Education and
12existing nonprofit agencies with expertise in financial
13literacy and education.
14    (f) Incentives and partnerships. The State Treasurer may
15develop partnerships with private, nonprofit, or governmental
16organizations to provide additional savings incentives for
17eligible children, including conditional cash transfers or
18matching contributions that provide a savings incentive based
19on specific actions taken or other criteria.
20    (g) Illinois Higher Education Savings Program Fund. The
21Illinois Higher Education Savings Program Fund is hereby
22established as a special fund in the State treasury. The Fund
23shall be the official repository of all contributions,
24appropriated funds appropriations, interest, and dividend
25payments, gifts, or other financial assets received by the
26State Treasurer in connection with the operation of the



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1Program or related partnerships. All such moneys shall be
2deposited in the Fund and held by the State Treasurer as
3custodian thereof, outside of the State treasury, separate and
4apart from all public moneys or funds of this State. The State
5Treasurer may accept gifts, grants, awards, matching
6contributions, interest income, and appropriated funds
7appropriations from individuals, businesses, governments, and
8other third-party sources to implement the Program on terms
9that the Treasurer deems advisable. All interest or other
10earnings accruing or received on amounts in the Illinois
11Higher Education Savings Program Fund shall be credited to and
12retained by the Fund and used for the benefit of the Program.
13Assets of the Fund must at all times be preserved, invested,
14and expended only for the purposes of the Program and must be
15held for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Assets may not be
16transferred or used by the State or the State Treasurer for any
17purposes other than the purposes of the Program. In addition,
18no moneys, interest, or other earnings paid into the Fund
19shall be used, temporarily or otherwise, for inter-fund
20borrowing or be otherwise used or appropriated except as
21expressly authorized by this Act. Notwithstanding the
22requirements of this subsection (g) (f), amounts in the Fund
23may be used by the State Treasurer to pay the administrative
24costs of the Program.
25    (h) Audits and reports. The State Treasurer shall include
26the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program as part of the



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1audit of the College Savings Pool described in Section 16.5.
2The State Treasurer shall annually prepare a report that
3includes a summary of the Program operations for the preceding
4fiscal year, including the number of children enrolled in the
5Program, the total amount of seed fund deposits, and such
6other information that is relevant to make a full disclosure
7of the operations of the Program and Fund. The report shall be
8made available on the Treasurer's website by January 31 each
9year, starting in January of 2024 2022. The State Treasurer
10may include the Program in other reports as warranted.
11    (i) Rules. The State Treasurer may adopt rules necessary
12to implement this Section.
13(Source: P.A. 101-466, eff. 1-1-20; revised 11-21-19.)
14    Section 10. The State Finance Act is amended by adding
15Section 5.935 as follows:
16    (30 ILCS 105/5.935 new)
17    Sec. 5.935. The Illinois Higher Education Savings Program
19    Section 15. The Illinois Income Tax Act is amended by
20changing Section 917 as follows:
21    (35 ILCS 5/917)  (from Ch. 120, par. 9-917)
22    Sec. 917. Confidentiality and information sharing.



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1    (a) Confidentiality. Except as provided in this Section,
2all information received by the Department from returns filed
3under this Act, or from any investigation conducted under the
4provisions of this Act, shall be confidential, except for
5official purposes within the Department or pursuant to
6official procedures for collection of any State tax or
7pursuant to an investigation or audit by the Illinois State
8Scholarship Commission of a delinquent student loan or
9monetary award or enforcement of any civil or criminal penalty
10or sanction imposed by this Act or by another statute imposing
11a State tax, and any person who divulges any such information
12in any manner, except for such purposes and pursuant to order
13of the Director or in accordance with a proper judicial order,
14shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. However, the
15provisions of this paragraph are not applicable to information
16furnished to (i) the Department of Healthcare and Family
17Services (formerly Department of Public Aid), State's
18Attorneys, and the Attorney General for child support
19enforcement purposes and (ii) a licensed attorney representing
20the taxpayer where an appeal or a protest has been filed on
21behalf of the taxpayer. If it is necessary to file information
22obtained pursuant to this Act in a child support enforcement
23proceeding, the information shall be filed under seal.
24    (b) Public information. Nothing contained in this Act
25shall prevent the Director from publishing or making available
26to the public the names and addresses of persons filing



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1returns under this Act, or from publishing or making available
2reasonable statistics concerning the operation of the tax
3wherein the contents of returns are grouped into aggregates in
4such a way that the information contained in any individual
5return shall not be disclosed.
6    (c) Governmental agencies. The Director may make available
7to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States or his
8delegate, or the proper officer or his delegate of any other
9state imposing a tax upon or measured by income, for
10exclusively official purposes, information received by the
11Department in the administration of this Act, but such
12permission shall be granted only if the United States or such
13other state, as the case may be, grants the Department
14substantially similar privileges. The Director may exchange
15information with the Department of Healthcare and Family
16Services and the Department of Human Services (acting as
17successor to the Department of Public Aid under the Department
18of Human Services Act) for the purpose of verifying sources
19and amounts of income and for other purposes directly
20connected with the administration of this Act, the Illinois
21Public Aid Code, and any other health benefit program
22administered by the State. The Director may exchange
23information with the Director of the Department of Employment
24Security for the purpose of verifying sources and amounts of
25income and for other purposes directly connected with the
26administration of this Act and Acts administered by the



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1Department of Employment Security. The Director may make
2available to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission
3information regarding employers for the purpose of verifying
4the insurance coverage required under the Workers'
5Compensation Act and Workers' Occupational Diseases Act. The
6Director may exchange information with the Illinois Department
7on Aging for the purpose of verifying sources and amounts of
8income for purposes directly related to confirming eligibility
9for participation in the programs of benefits authorized by
10the Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities Property Tax
11Relief and Pharmaceutical Assistance Act. The Director may
12exchange information with the State Treasurer's Office and the
13Department of Employment Security for the purpose of
14implementing, administering, and enforcing the Illinois Secure
15Choice Savings Program Act. The Director may exchange
16information with the State Treasurer's Office for the purpose
17of administering the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act or
18successor Acts. The Director may exchange information with the
19State Treasurer's Office for the purpose of administering the
20Illinois Higher Education Savings Program established under
21Section 16.8 of the State Treasurer Act.
22    The Director may make available to any State agency,
23including the Illinois Supreme Court, which licenses persons
24to engage in any occupation, information that a person
25licensed by such agency has failed to file returns under this
26Act or pay the tax, penalty and interest shown therein, or has



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1failed to pay any final assessment of tax, penalty or interest
2due under this Act. The Director may make available to any
3State agency, including the Illinois Supreme Court,
4information regarding whether a bidder, contractor, or an
5affiliate of a bidder or contractor has failed to file returns
6under this Act or pay the tax, penalty, and interest shown
7therein, or has failed to pay any final assessment of tax,
8penalty, or interest due under this Act, for the limited
9purpose of enforcing bidder and contractor certifications. For
10purposes of this Section, the term "affiliate" means any
11entity that (1) directly, indirectly, or constructively
12controls another entity, (2) is directly, indirectly, or
13constructively controlled by another entity, or (3) is subject
14to the control of a common entity. For purposes of this
15subsection (a), an entity controls another entity if it owns,
16directly or individually, more than 10% of the voting
17securities of that entity. As used in this subsection (a), the
18term "voting security" means a security that (1) confers upon
19the holder the right to vote for the election of members of the
20board of directors or similar governing body of the business
21or (2) is convertible into, or entitles the holder to receive
22upon its exercise, a security that confers such a right to
23vote. A general partnership interest is a voting security.
24    The Director may make available to any State agency,
25including the Illinois Supreme Court, units of local
26government, and school districts, information regarding



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1whether a bidder or contractor is an affiliate of a person who
2is not collecting and remitting Illinois Use taxes, for the
3limited purpose of enforcing bidder and contractor
5    The Director may also make available to the Secretary of
6State information that a corporation which has been issued a
7certificate of incorporation by the Secretary of State has
8failed to file returns under this Act or pay the tax, penalty
9and interest shown therein, or has failed to pay any final
10assessment of tax, penalty or interest due under this Act. An
11assessment is final when all proceedings in court for review
12of such assessment have terminated or the time for the taking
13thereof has expired without such proceedings being instituted.
14For taxable years ending on or after December 31, 1987, the
15Director may make available to the Director or principal
16officer of any Department of the State of Illinois,
17information that a person employed by such Department has
18failed to file returns under this Act or pay the tax, penalty
19and interest shown therein. For purposes of this paragraph,
20the word "Department" shall have the same meaning as provided
21in Section 3 of the State Employees Group Insurance Act of
23    (d) The Director shall make available for public
24inspection in the Department's principal office and for
25publication, at cost, administrative decisions issued on or
26after January 1, 1995. These decisions are to be made



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1available in a manner so that the following taxpayer
2information is not disclosed:
3        (1) The names, addresses, and identification numbers
4    of the taxpayer, related entities, and employees.
5        (2) At the sole discretion of the Director, trade
6    secrets or other confidential information identified as
7    such by the taxpayer, no later than 30 days after receipt
8    of an administrative decision, by such means as the
9    Department shall provide by rule.
10    The Director shall determine the appropriate extent of the
11deletions allowed in paragraph (2). In the event the taxpayer
12does not submit deletions, the Director shall make only the
13deletions specified in paragraph (1).
14    The Director shall make available for public inspection
15and publication an administrative decision within 180 days
16after the issuance of the administrative decision. The term
17"administrative decision" has the same meaning as defined in
18Section 3-101 of Article III of the Code of Civil Procedure.
19Costs collected under this Section shall be paid into the Tax
20Compliance and Administration Fund.
21    (e) Nothing contained in this Act shall prevent the
22Director from divulging information to any person pursuant to
23a request or authorization made by the taxpayer, by an
24authorized representative of the taxpayer, or, in the case of
25information related to a joint return, by the spouse filing
26the joint return with the taxpayer.



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1(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15; 99-571, eff. 7-15-16;
2100-47, eff. 8-11-17; 100-863, eff. 8-14-18.)
3    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
4becoming law.