Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SJR0006
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Full Text of SJR0006  103rd General Assembly




SJ0006LRB103 24910 LAW 51244 r


2    WHEREAS, 529 college savings plans are important tools for
3Illinois families who want to save for their children's
4college education; they offer a diverse range of investment
5options, tax-deferred growth, and withdrawals free of state
6and federal taxes when those withdrawals are used for
7qualified higher education expenses such as tuition, fees,
8books, certain room and board costs, computer equipment, and
9required supplies; and
10    WHEREAS, While the first college savings plans were
11developed by states in 1988 as innovative programs designed to
12help families and students save for higher education expenses,
13it was not until the enactment of Section 529 of the Internal
14Revenue Code by Congress in 1996 that college savings plans
15began to rapidly gain popularity across the country; and
16    WHEREAS, Today, all 50 states and the District of Columbia
17offer 529 college savings plans; 12.5 million 529 accounts
18have been opened, more than $253 billion dollars have been
19saved for future higher education expenses, and more than one
20million students nationwide have withdrawn funds from 529
21accounts to help pay higher education expenses; and
22    WHEREAS, The Illinois Treasurer currently offers and



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1administers two 529 college savings plans, the Bright Start
2College Savings Plan and the Bright Directions College Savings
3Plan; and
4    WHEREAS, In 2018, Morningstar, which independently
5evaluates and rates college savings plans, selected the Bright
6Start 529 College Savings Plan as a Gold-Rated 529 and granted
7the Bright Directions Advisor-Guided 529 College Savings Plan
8a silver rating, which was the highest rating for all
9advisor-sold plans; and
10    WHEREAS, 529 college savings plans allow families to save
11for tuition at two-year and four-year institutions, including
12vocational, trade, community, state, or technical schools; and
13    WHEREAS, Illinois residents can claim a state tax
14deduction on contributions of up to $10,000 a year ($20,000
15for married couples filing jointly) to any state plan; and
16    WHEREAS, In 2000, the average tuition rate at an Illinois
17public university was $4,160, while the average rate at a
18private four-year institution was $15,625; in 2018, those
19rates skyrocketed to $15,182 for public universities and
20$36,747 for private universities; and
21    WHEREAS, Federal financial aid awards have shifted away



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1from student grants and moved to providing access to
2guaranteed student loans so that, today, nearly 63 percent of
3all federal financial aid is in the form of loans,
4substantially increasing the number of college graduates who
5will face the burden of repaying significant student loan debt
6upon entering the workforce; and
7    WHEREAS, As of 2018, student loan debt had reached $1.5
8trillion nationally, which rose from $548 billion in 2007, and
9more than 1.6 million Illinois residents had student loans
10totaling more than $52 billion; and
11    WHEREAS, When Illinoisans are burdened with student loan
12debt, they are not able to buy homes, cars, and other products
13that boost our economy; and
14    WHEREAS, College savings plans, such as Bright Start and
15Bright Directions, help families limit or eliminate future
16student loan debt by helping them save for future higher
17education expenses; and
18    WHEREAS, The contributions families make today pay off in
19the form of an increased earning potential for their children
20in the future, with a college graduate earning an average of $1
21million more than a high school graduate during his or her
22career, according to the United States Census Bureau; and



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1    WHEREAS, May 29th is recognized nationally as 529 College
2Savings Day to help raise awareness across the country of the
3importance of saving for college with the help of 529 college
4savings plans; therefore, be it
82023 as 529 College Savings Day in the State of Illinois; and
9be it further
10    RESOLVED, That we urge all Illinoisans to explore the
11benefits that 529 college savings plans offer families; and be
12it further
13    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
14delivered to the Governor of Illinois, the Director of the
15Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the Treasurer of
16Illinois, the Director of the Community College Board, and the
17Director of the Board of Higher Education.