Every baby born in Illinois could get a tiny college savings account under a plan that passed the state House of Representatives Wednesday. The proposal comes from the state treasurer’s office, as a way to encourage families to start planning for their children's college education.
Beginning in 2021, each baby born or adopted in Illinois would automatically receive a 529 college savings account with $50 deposited by the treasurer's office.
By the time the child turns 18, that amount should have doubled.
State Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) says even $110 can have an impact.
“The importance of this bill is that research has shown that any amount that is saved for a child for higher education, they will be three times more likely to attend college, and four times more likely to graduate from college,” she said.
State Rep. Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore) called the plan a marketing gimmick for the state treasurer's office — currently occupied by a Democrat.
“So we will have virtually every child in every household receiving a letter from the treasurer...each and every year,” he said.
He ultimately voted "present" on the bill. It was approved by a vote of 66 to 42, and now goes to the Senate.
Thirty-four other states already have similar plans.