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Public Act 102-1047


 

Public Act 1047 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 102-1047
 
SB3991 EnrolledLRB102 25847 RJF 35196 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.
    "Eligible child" means a child born or adopted after
December 31, 2022, 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; (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. 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, 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, the Department of Public Health
    shall provide the State Treasurer with information on
    recent Illinois births and adoptions including, but not
    limited to: the full name, residential address, 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 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 into an omnibus account on behalf of eligible
children. The State Treasurer shall be the owner of the
omnibus accounts.
        (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) Supplementary deposits and partnerships. The State
Treasurer may make supplementary deposits to children in
financially insecure households if sufficient funds are
available. Furthermore, the Incentives and partnerships. The
State Treasurer may develop partnerships with private,
nonprofit, or governmental organizations to provide additional
savings incentives, 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, 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. The
State Treasurer may accept gifts, grants, awards, matching
contributions, interest income, and appropriated funds 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),
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, the rate of
seed deposits claimed, and, to the extent data is reported and
available, the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic
data of beneficiaries and of children in financially insecure
households who may receive automatic bonus deposits. Such
other information that is relevant to make a full disclosure
of the operations of the Program and Fund may also be reported
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. 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; 102-129, eff. 7-23-21;
102-558, eff. 8-20-21.)

Effective Date: 1/1/2023