FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Carolyn Barry Frost
April 4, 2001 312/814-2997
Bright Start Celebrates One Year Anniversary
--Bill Passes Senate to Give Tax Deduction—
Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka celebrated the one-year anniversary of
the Bright Start college savings program with passage in the Illinois Senate of a bill that
will allow for a tax deduction of monies contributed to a Bright Start account.
“The Bright Start program has experienced tremendous success during our first
year, and this bill will give us the necessary tools to make saving for college even easier,”
The college savings program administered by Topinka, is the 2nd fastest growing
college savings program in the nation with more than $77 million in investments and
14,418 participants since the first dollars were invested on April 4, 2000.
Senate Bill 902 introduced by Senator Frank Watson allows individuals who open
a Bright Start account to have their contribution deducted from their State income taxes.
The bill now progresses to the Illinois House of Representatives for their approval.
“Bright Start gives Illinois residents a clear choice when it comes to the higher
education needs of their children through its flexibility, ease and sound investment
options,” Topinka said. “By taking advantage of various tax breaks, families from all
walks of life will have an easier time providing for their children’s higher education.
What’s even better, Bright Start is tailor made for the individual.”
Through its unprecedented flexibility, Bright Start covers not only tuition but also
books, fees, some room and board costs and other associated college expenses. And, you
can use Bright Start at public, private, in-state, out-of-state, four-year, graduate school,
community college and vocational schools.
“It’s time to stop borrowing and start saving. Bright Start allows working families
the opportunity to break the cycle of educational debt that often times financially
devastates both students and their families,” Topinka said. “By making these investments
From the Office of State Treasurer JUDY BAAR TOPINKA