Breen questions technical changes in Bright Start
Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) fought for the Illinois College Savings Pool during House debate April 11.
Though sponsor Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch (D-Hillside) said his proposal, HB4751, a technical initiative that simply cleans up language for the College Savings Pool which was amended by the state treasurer, had no opposition, he was wrong.
Welch said the modifications are in line with all federal regulations and governing 529 Bright Start programs.
“This bill is completely revenue neutral,” Welch said.
“Just so that we are clear, Federal law has been changed to allow the use of 529 at the federal level for elementary and high school and your bill doesn’t change anything in current law on that front,” Breen said.
While Welch said Breen was correct, he added "I would be happy to work with you on a bill that addresses the recent federal law changes, but this bill is revenue neutral and that bill may not be so we want to keep this bill as a technical clean up,” Welch said.
Breen said he would if he could.
“It’s just that I can’t get a hearing on my bill to assure that 529s comport with federal law, so there is really no opportunity to work with you,” Breen said.
Breen saidand there appears to be no opposition for HB4751 and the technical changes proposed, he could not object. However that did not stop him from speaking for the College Savings Pool.
“At the same time there is no reason we should disadvantage Illinois parents through our Illinois State 529 plan from using their proceeds, their own money to fund their childrens’ education at whatever level,” Breen said.
“The problem is by not making these changes at this time, and apparently not this year, we are giving Illinois parents no reason to use the Bright Start program and instead they might as well use Missouri’s or some other state that has welcomed Illinois money, because those states specifically allow for the use of the money in grade school and high school,” Breen said.
HB4751 passed 98-14 and will move onto the Senate.