Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR1223
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Full Text of HR1223  99th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, 529 college savings plans are important tools for
3Illinoisans, offering a diverse range of investment options,
4tax-deferred growth, tax-deductions benefits, and withdrawals
5free of State and federal taxes when those withdrawals are used
6for qualified higher education expenses such as tuition, fees,
7books, computers, certain room and board costs, and required
8supplies; and
9    WHEREAS, The enactment of Section 529 of the Internal
10Revenue Code by Congress in 1996 allowed states to create
11"Qualified Tuition Programs"; and
12    WHEREAS, The Office of the Illinois State Treasurer serves
13as the Trustee and Administrator for all Illinois 529 College
14Savings Plans; and
15    WHEREAS, The Bright Start and Bright Directions College
16Savings Plans were created in Illinois in 2000 and 2005
17respectively, to assist Illinois families to finance the costs
18associated with a college education; and
19    WHEREAS, Today, over 400,000 accounts have been created in
20Illinois and over $7 Billion have been saved for future higher
21education expenses; and



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1    WHEREAS, The Bright Start and Bright Directions College
2Savings Plans have helped families meet their higher education
3goals with over $400 million withdrawn annually for qualified
4higher education expenses at colleges and universities in
5Illinois and throughout the United States; and
6    WHEREAS, In Illinois, over the past 15 years, tuition rates
7at four-year universities, and over the past 40 years, tuition
8rates have consistently increased at two to three times the
9rate of inflation every year; and
10    WHEREAS, Financial Assistance has shifted away from grants
11to providing access toward student loans so that today nearly
1260% of all federal financial aid is in the form of loans,
13substantially increasing the number of college graduates who
14will face the burden of repaying significant student loan debt
15upon entering the workforce; and
16    WHEREAS, According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York,
17student loan debt has now reached $1.2 trillion nationally,
18which is more than triple the amount owed in 2005; and
19    WHEREAS, Americans are burdened with student loan debt as
20there are 40 million borrowers with an average balance of
21$29,000; and



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1    WHEREAS, The Illinois College Savings Plans help families
2to limit or prevent future student loan debt by helping them
3save for future higher education expenses; and
4    WHEREAS, The investments families make today pay off in the
5form of increased earning potential for their children in the
6future, with a college graduate earning an average of $1
7million more than a high school graduate during his or her
8career according to the United States Census Bureau; and
9    WHEREAS, In Illinois, the dream of achieving academic and
10professional success is being threatened by increasing tuition
11rates and decreasing financial aid; and
12    WHEREAS, May 29th is recognized nationally as 529 College
13Savings Day to raise awareness across the country about the
14benefits of tax-advantaged college savings plans, known as 529
15College Savings Plans, as important vehicles to save for
16college; therefore, be it
19designate the date of May 29, 2016 as 529 College Savings Day
20in the State of Illinois to help raise awareness about the
21escalating costs of higher education and the importance of



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1saving for college with the help of 529 college savings plans.