Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HJR0041
Illinois General Assembly

Previous General Assemblies

Full Text of HJR0041  101st General Assembly




HJ0041LRB101 11214 MST 56473 r


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19students nationwide have withdrawn funds from 529 accounts to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



HJ0041- 2 -LRB101 11214 MST 56473 r

1Tuition Program", which is administered by the Illinois Student
2Assistance Commission, and the "Bright Start College Savings
3Plan" and the "Bright Directions College Savings Plan", which
4are administered by the Illinois Treasurer; and
5    WHEREAS, 529 college savings plans allow families to save
6for tuition at two-year and four-year institutions, including
7vocational, trade, community, state, or technical schools; and
8    WHEREAS, Illinois residents can claim a state tax deduction
9on contributions of up to $10,000 a year ($20,000 for married
10couples filing jointly) to any state plan; and
11    WHEREAS, In 2000, the average tuition rate at an Illinois
12public university was $4,160, while the average rate at a
13private four-year institution was $15,625; in 2018, those rates
14have skyrocketed to $15,182 for public universities and $36,747
15for private universities; and
16    WHEREAS, Federal financial aid awards have shifted away
17from student grants and moved to providing access to guaranteed
18student loans so that, today, nearly 63 percent of all federal
19financial aid is in the form of loans, substantially increasing
20the number of college graduates who will face the burden of
21repaying significant student loan debt upon entering the
22workforce; and



HJ0041- 3 -LRB101 11214 MST 56473 r

1    WHEREAS, As of 2018, student loan debt has now reached $1.5
2trillion nationally, which rose from $548 billion in 2007, and
3more than 1.6 million Illinois residents have student loans
4totaling more than $52 billion; and
5    WHEREAS, When Illinoisans are burdened with student loan
6debt, they are not able to buy homes, cars, and other products
7that boost our economy; and
8    WHEREAS, College savings plans, such as CollegeIllinois!,
9Bright Start, and Bright Directions, help families limit or
10eliminate future student loan debt by helping them save for
11future higher education expenses; and
12    WHEREAS, The contributions families make today pay off in
13the form of an increased earning potential for their children
14in the future, with a college graduate earning an average of $1
15million more than a high school graduate during his or her
16career, according to the United States Census Bureau; and
17    WHEREAS, May 29th is recognized nationally as 529 College
18Savings Day to help raise awareness across the country of the
19importance of saving for college with the help of 529 college
20savings plans; therefore, be it



HJ0041- 4 -LRB101 11214 MST 56473 r

3SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we declare May 29, 2019 as 529
4College Savings Day in the State of Illinois; and be it further
5    RESOLVED, That we urge all Illinoisans to explore the
6benefits that 529 college savings plans offer families; and be
7it further
8    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
9delivered to the Governor of Illinois, the Director of the
10Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the Treasurer of
11Illinois, and the Director of the Board of Higher Education.