SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, is working to expand higher education opportunities and break down financial barriers to success with his support of a new law establishing the Illinois Higher Education Saving Program.
“Higher education can’t be an opportunity that’s only available to kids born into families with money. We need a comprehensive system for children from all backgrounds to afford college,” Halpin said. “As a parent, I want to build a stronger, fairer Illinois for the next generation. For that, everyone who wants more education should be able to have it. This law is going to help realize that future.”
Halpin passed House Bill 2237 to establish the Illinois Higher Education Saving Program. This program will facilitate saving for college for all children born after December 31, 2020 by opening an omnibus account to hold all contributions to higher education savings, all interest earned on those contributions and $50 in seed money for each participating child. All children born to parents who are residents of Illinois are eligible for the program. The bill was signed into law at the end of August.
“A better education has been linked to higher wages, improved health and lower crime rates. If we want to build a more robust economy, raise average life expectancy and crack down on crime, the first step is giving every kid the option to go to college,” Halpin said. “Not only that, good schools will draw more people to the state and give our local businesses more consumers to sell their products to. This law is a big step in the right direction for our community.”