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Public Act 102-0129


 

Public Act 0129 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 102-0129
 
HB0573 EnrolledLRB102 04338 RJF 14356 b

    AN ACT concerning State government.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The State Treasurer Act is amended by changing
Section 16.8 as follows:
 
    (15 ILCS 505/16.8)
    Sec. 16.8. Illinois Higher Education Savings Program.
    (a) Definitions. As used in this Section:
    "Beneficiary" means an eligible child named as a recipient
of seed funds.
    "College savings account" means a 529 plan account
established under Section 16.5.
    "Eligible child" means a child born or adopted after
December 31, 2022 2020, to a parent who is a resident of
Illinois at the time of the birth or adoption, as evidenced by
documentation received by the Treasurer from the Department of
Revenue, the Department of Public Health, or another State or
local government agency.
    "Eligible educational institution" means institutions that
are described in Section 1001 of the federal Higher Education
Act of 1965 that are eligible to participate in Department of
Education student aid programs.
    "Fund" means the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program
Fund.
    "Omnibus account" means the pooled collection of seed
funds owned and managed by the State Treasurer in the College
Savings Pool under this Act.
    "Program" means the Illinois Higher Education Savings
Program.
    "Qualified higher education expense" means the following:
(i) tuition, fees, and the costs of books, supplies, and
equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible
educational institution; (ii) expenses for special needs
services, in the case of a special needs beneficiary, which
are incurred in connection with such enrollment or attendance;
(iii) certain expenses for the purchase of computer or
peripheral equipment, computer software, or Internet access
and related services as defined under Section 529 of the
Internal Revenue Code; and (iv) room and board expenses
incurred while attending an eligible educational institution
at least half-time; (v) expenses for fees, books, supplies,
and equipment required for the participation of a designated
beneficiary in an apprenticeship program registered and
certified with the Secretary of Labor under the National
Apprenticeship Act (29 U.S.C. 50); and (vi) amounts paid as
principal or interest on any qualified education loan of the
designated beneficiary or a sibling of the designated
beneficiary, as allowed under Section 529 of the Internal
Revenue Code.
    "Seed funds" means the deposit made by the State Treasurer
into the Omnibus Accounts for Program beneficiaries.
    (b) Program established. The State Treasurer shall
establish the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program as a
part of the College Savings Pool under Section 16.5 of this
Act, subject to appropriation by the General Assembly provided
that sufficient funds are available. The State Treasurer shall
administer the Program for the purposes of expanding access to
higher education through savings.
    (c) Program enrollment. The State Treasurer shall enroll
all eligible children in the Program beginning in 2023 2021,
after receiving records of recent births, adoptions, or
dependents from the Department of Revenue, the Department of
Public Health, or another State or local government agency
designated by the Treasurer. Notwithstanding any court order
which would otherwise prevent the release of information, the
Department of Public Health is authorized to release the
information specified under this subsection (c) to the State
Treasurer for the purposes of the Program established under
this Section.
        (1) Beginning in 2021, On and after the effective date
    of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly, the
    Department of Revenue and the Department of Public Health
    shall provide the State Treasurer with information on
    recent Illinois births and , adoptions and dependents
    including, but not limited to: the full name, residential
    address, and birth date, and birth record number of the
    child and the full name and residential address of the
    child's parent or legal guardian for the purpose of
    enrolling eligible children in the Program. This data
    shall be provided to the State Treasurer by the Department
    of Revenue and the Department of Public Health on a
    quarterly basis, no later than 30 days after the end of
    each quarter, or some other date and frequency as mutually
    agreed to by the State Treasurer and the Department of
    Public Health.
        (1.5) Beginning in 2021, the Department of Revenue
    shall provide the State Treasurer with information on tax
    filers claiming dependents or the adoption tax credit
    including, but not limited to: the full name, residential
    address, email address, phone number, birth date, and
    social security number or taxpayer identification number
    of the dependent child and of the child's parent or legal
    guardian for the purpose of enrolling eligible children in
    the Program. This data shall be provided to the State
    Treasurer by the Department of Revenue on at least an
    annual basis, by July 1 of each year or another date
    jointly determined by the State Treasurer and the
    Department of Revenue. Notwithstanding anything to the
    contrary contained within this paragraph (2), the
    Department of Revenue shall not be required to share any
    information that would be contrary to federal law,
    regulation, or Internal Revenue Service Publication 1075.
        (2) The State Treasurer shall ensure the security and
    confidentiality of the information provided by the
    Department of Revenue, the Department of Public Health, or
    another State or local government agency, and it shall not
    be subject to release under the Freedom of Information
    Act.
        (3) Information provided under this Section shall only
    be used by the State Treasurer for the Program and shall
    not be used for any other purpose.
        (4) The State Treasurer and any vendors working on the
    Program shall maintain strict confidentiality of any
    information provided under this Section, and shall
    promptly provide written or electronic notice to the
    providing agency of any security breach. The providing
    State or local government agency shall remain the sole and
    exclusive owner of information provided under this
    Section.
    (d) Seed funds. After receiving information on recent
births, adoptions, or dependents from the Department of
Revenue, the Department of Public Health, or another State or
local government agency, the State Treasurer shall make
deposits a deposit into an omnibus account of the Fund on
behalf of each eligible children child. The State Treasurer
shall be the owner of the omnibus accounts. The deposit of seed
funds shall be subject to appropriation by the General
Assembly.
        (1) Deposit amount. The seed fund deposit for each
    eligible child shall be in the amount of $50. This amount
    may be increased by the State Treasurer by rule. The State
    Treasurer may use or deposit funds appropriated by the
    General Assembly together with moneys received as gifts,
    grants, or contributions into the Fund. If insufficient
    funds are available in the Fund, the State Treasurer may
    reduce the deposit amount or forego deposits.
        (2) Use of seed funds. Seed funds, including any
    interest, dividends, and other earnings accrued, will be
    eligible for use by a beneficiary for qualified higher
    education expenses if:
            (A) the parent or guardian of the eligible child
        claimed the seed funds for the beneficiary by the
        beneficiary's 10th birthday;
            (B) the beneficiary has completed secondary
        education or has reached the age of 18; and
            (C) the beneficiary is currently a resident of the
        State of Illinois. Non-residents are not eligible to
        claim or use seed funds.
        (3) Notice of seed fund availability. The State
    Treasurer shall make a good faith effort to notify
    beneficiaries and their parents or legal guardians of the
    seed funds' availability and the deadline to claim such
    funds.
        (4) Unclaimed seed funds. Seed funds and any interest
    earnings that are unclaimed by the beneficiary's 10th
    birthday or unused by the beneficiary's 26th birthday will
    be considered forfeited. Unclaimed and unused seed funds
    and any interest earnings will remain in the omnibus
    account for future beneficiaries.
    (e) Financial education. The State Treasurer may develop
educational materials that support the financial literacy of
beneficiaries and their legal guardians, and may do so in
collaboration with State and federal agencies, including, but
not limited to, the Illinois State Board of Education and
existing nonprofit agencies with expertise in financial
literacy and education.
    (f) Incentives and partnerships. The State Treasurer may
develop partnerships with private, nonprofit, or governmental
organizations to provide additional savings incentives for
eligible children, including conditional cash transfers or
matching contributions that provide a savings incentive based
on specific actions taken or other criteria.
    (g) Illinois Higher Education Savings Program Fund. The
Illinois Higher Education Savings Program Fund is hereby
established as a special fund in the State treasury. The Fund
shall be the official repository of all contributions,
appropriated funds appropriations, interest, and dividend
payments, gifts, or other financial assets received by the
State Treasurer in connection with the operation of the
Program or related partnerships. All such moneys shall be
deposited in the Fund and held by the State Treasurer as
custodian thereof, outside of the State treasury, separate and
apart from all public moneys or funds of this State. The State
Treasurer may accept gifts, grants, awards, matching
contributions, interest income, and appropriated funds
appropriations from individuals, businesses, governments, and
other third-party sources to implement the Program on terms
that the Treasurer deems advisable. All interest or other
earnings accruing or received on amounts in the Illinois
Higher Education Savings Program Fund shall be credited to and
retained by the Fund and used for the benefit of the Program.
Assets of the Fund must at all times be preserved, invested,
and expended only for the purposes of the Program and must be
held for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Assets may not be
transferred or used by the State or the State Treasurer for any
purposes other than the purposes of the Program. In addition,
no moneys, interest, or other earnings paid into the Fund
shall be used, temporarily or otherwise, for inter-fund
borrowing or be otherwise used or appropriated except as
expressly authorized by this Act. Notwithstanding the
requirements of this subsection (g) (f), amounts in the Fund
may be used by the State Treasurer to pay the administrative
costs of the Program.
    (h) Audits and reports. The State Treasurer shall include
the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program as part of the
audit of the College Savings Pool described in Section 16.5.
The State Treasurer shall annually prepare a report that
includes a summary of the Program operations for the preceding
fiscal year, including the number of children enrolled in the
Program, the total amount of seed fund deposits, and such
other information that is relevant to make a full disclosure
of the operations of the Program and Fund. The report shall be
made available on the Treasurer's website by January 31 each
year, starting in January of 2024 2022. The State Treasurer
may include the Program in other reports as warranted.
    (i) Rules. The State Treasurer may adopt rules necessary
to implement this Section.
(Source: P.A. 101-466, eff. 1-1-20; revised 11-21-19.)
 
    Section 10. The State Finance Act is amended by adding
Section 5.935 as follows:
 
    (30 ILCS 105/5.935 new)
    Sec. 5.935. The Illinois Higher Education Savings Program
Fund.
 
    Section 15. The Illinois Income Tax Act is amended by
changing Section 917 as follows:
 
    (35 ILCS 5/917)  (from Ch. 120, par. 9-917)
    Sec. 917. Confidentiality and information sharing.
    (a) Confidentiality. Except as provided in this Section,
all information received by the Department from returns filed
under this Act, or from any investigation conducted under the
provisions of this Act, shall be confidential, except for
official purposes within the Department or pursuant to
official procedures for collection of any State tax or
pursuant to an investigation or audit by the Illinois State
Scholarship Commission of a delinquent student loan or
monetary award or enforcement of any civil or criminal penalty
or sanction imposed by this Act or by another statute imposing
a State tax, and any person who divulges any such information
in any manner, except for such purposes and pursuant to order
of the Director or in accordance with a proper judicial order,
shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. However, the
provisions of this paragraph are not applicable to information
furnished to (i) the Department of Healthcare and Family
Services (formerly Department of Public Aid), State's
Attorneys, and the Attorney General for child support
enforcement purposes and (ii) a licensed attorney representing
the taxpayer where an appeal or a protest has been filed on
behalf of the taxpayer. If it is necessary to file information
obtained pursuant to this Act in a child support enforcement
proceeding, the information shall be filed under seal.
    (b) Public information. Nothing contained in this Act
shall prevent the Director from publishing or making available
to the public the names and addresses of persons filing
returns under this Act, or from publishing or making available
reasonable statistics concerning the operation of the tax
wherein the contents of returns are grouped into aggregates in
such a way that the information contained in any individual
return shall not be disclosed.
    (c) Governmental agencies. The Director may make available
to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States or his
delegate, or the proper officer or his delegate of any other
state imposing a tax upon or measured by income, for
exclusively official purposes, information received by the
Department in the administration of this Act, but such
permission shall be granted only if the United States or such
other state, as the case may be, grants the Department
substantially similar privileges. The Director may exchange
information with the Department of Healthcare and Family
Services and the Department of Human Services (acting as
successor to the Department of Public Aid under the Department
of Human Services Act) for the purpose of verifying sources
and amounts of income and for other purposes directly
connected with the administration of this Act, the Illinois
Public Aid Code, and any other health benefit program
administered by the State. The Director may exchange
information with the Director of the Department of Employment
Security for the purpose of verifying sources and amounts of
income and for other purposes directly connected with the
administration of this Act and Acts administered by the
Department of Employment Security. The Director may make
available to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission
information regarding employers for the purpose of verifying
the insurance coverage required under the Workers'
Compensation Act and Workers' Occupational Diseases Act. The
Director may exchange information with the Illinois Department
on Aging for the purpose of verifying sources and amounts of
income for purposes directly related to confirming eligibility
for participation in the programs of benefits authorized by
the Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities Property Tax
Relief and Pharmaceutical Assistance Act. The Director may
exchange information with the State Treasurer's Office and the
Department of Employment Security for the purpose of
implementing, administering, and enforcing the Illinois Secure
Choice Savings Program Act. The Director may exchange
information with the State Treasurer's Office for the purpose
of administering the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act or
successor Acts. The Director may exchange information with the
State Treasurer's Office for the purpose of administering the
Illinois Higher Education Savings Program established under
Section 16.8 of the State Treasurer Act.
    The Director may make available to any State agency,
including the Illinois Supreme Court, which licenses persons
to engage in any occupation, information that a person
licensed by such agency has failed to file returns under this
Act or pay the tax, penalty and interest shown therein, or has
failed to pay any final assessment of tax, penalty or interest
due under this Act. The Director may make available to any
State agency, including the Illinois Supreme Court,
information regarding whether a bidder, contractor, or an
affiliate of a bidder or contractor has failed to file returns
under this Act or pay the tax, penalty, and interest shown
therein, or has failed to pay any final assessment of tax,
penalty, or interest due under this Act, for the limited
purpose of enforcing bidder and contractor certifications. For
purposes of this Section, the term "affiliate" means any
entity that (1) directly, indirectly, or constructively
controls another entity, (2) is directly, indirectly, or
constructively controlled by another entity, or (3) is subject
to the control of a common entity. For purposes of this
subsection (a), an entity controls another entity if it owns,
directly or individually, more than 10% of the voting
securities of that entity. As used in this subsection (a), the
term "voting security" means a security that (1) confers upon
the holder the right to vote for the election of members of the
board of directors or similar governing body of the business
or (2) is convertible into, or entitles the holder to receive
upon its exercise, a security that confers such a right to
vote. A general partnership interest is a voting security.
    The Director may make available to any State agency,
including the Illinois Supreme Court, units of local
government, and school districts, information regarding
whether a bidder or contractor is an affiliate of a person who
is not collecting and remitting Illinois Use taxes, for the
limited purpose of enforcing bidder and contractor
certifications.
    The Director may also make available to the Secretary of
State information that a corporation which has been issued a
certificate of incorporation by the Secretary of State has
failed to file returns under this Act or pay the tax, penalty
and interest shown therein, or has failed to pay any final
assessment of tax, penalty or interest due under this Act. An
assessment is final when all proceedings in court for review
of such assessment have terminated or the time for the taking
thereof has expired without such proceedings being instituted.
For taxable years ending on or after December 31, 1987, the
Director may make available to the Director or principal
officer of any Department of the State of Illinois,
information that a person employed by such Department has
failed to file returns under this Act or pay the tax, penalty
and interest shown therein. For purposes of this paragraph,
the word "Department" shall have the same meaning as provided
in Section 3 of the State Employees Group Insurance Act of
1971.
    (d) The Director shall make available for public
inspection in the Department's principal office and for
publication, at cost, administrative decisions issued on or
after January 1, 1995. These decisions are to be made
available in a manner so that the following taxpayer
information is not disclosed:
        (1) The names, addresses, and identification numbers
    of the taxpayer, related entities, and employees.
        (2) At the sole discretion of the Director, trade
    secrets or other confidential information identified as
    such by the taxpayer, no later than 30 days after receipt
    of an administrative decision, by such means as the
    Department shall provide by rule.
    The Director shall determine the appropriate extent of the
deletions allowed in paragraph (2). In the event the taxpayer
does not submit deletions, the Director shall make only the
deletions specified in paragraph (1).
    The Director shall make available for public inspection
and publication an administrative decision within 180 days
after the issuance of the administrative decision. The term
"administrative decision" has the same meaning as defined in
Section 3-101 of Article III of the Code of Civil Procedure.
Costs collected under this Section shall be paid into the Tax
Compliance and Administration Fund.
    (e) Nothing contained in this Act shall prevent the
Director from divulging information to any person pursuant to
a request or authorization made by the taxpayer, by an
authorized representative of the taxpayer, or, in the case of
information related to a joint return, by the spouse filing
the joint return with the taxpayer.
(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15; 99-571, eff. 7-15-16;
100-47, eff. 8-11-17; 100-863, eff. 8-14-18.)
 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 7/23/2021