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|Senate Candidates Wants New College Savings Program
|An Illinois congressman wants to offer another way to save for college.
U.S. Rep. Mark S. Kirk (R-Highland Park) says the state has failed in its obligation of protecting money in the Bright Start college saving plan. Last year the program, overseen by State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, lost $85 million.
Kirk is vying for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, and Giannoulias is in the race as a Democrat, so the two may be political opponents after the primary.
Kirk is endorsing the 401 Kids Family Savings Act of 2009, legislation authored by U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Hinsdale). Kirk says if passed, the legislation would allow any individual, including a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, to set aside a total of $2,000 annually per child in a 401 savings account. Like a Roth IRA, the money is contributed to the account after taxes. The fund can be used for purposes including education expenses, the purchase of a first home or retirement.
In a written statement, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says Kirk supported the "largest cut to federal student aid in history," when he voted in 2005 and 2006 to cut mandatory spending programs by $39.7 billion over five years.
"The only thing consistent about Mark Kirk's record on college savings for Illinois families is that he has voted again and again to make it more difficult for Illinois parents to send their kids to college," said Kathleen Strand, DSCC senior advisor.
Giannoulias has said that the Bright Start program lost money just like almost everyone else who had investments in the stock market. His office is in negotiations with the plan's investment firm.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|10 13 09 by Newsroom
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