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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2001

Governor Ryan Authorizes Tax Deductions Contributions to the Bright Start Program

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. George H. Ryan today signed Senate Bill 902 into law, giving tax breaks to individuals who make contributions to their Bright Start College Savings Program accounts.

"This legislation will create an additional incentive for Illinois residents to plan for the increasing costs of a college education," Gov. Ryan said. "This is literally an investment in a child's future -- Bright Start not only helps to make college affordable, but now contributions can be deducted from their taxable income."

Bright Start is a college savings program initiated last year by State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka and administered through the Office of the State Treasurer. The earnings from Bright Start are exempt from state and federal taxes if the money is used for higher education expenses.

Effective January 1, 2002, the entire amount of an individual's Bright Start contribution can be deducted from their total taxable income.

"I'm very thankful to Governor Ryan for signing legislation that provides for an additional tax advantage for Illinois families contributing to the Bright Start College Savings Program," Topinka said. "This new law gives us the necessary tools to make saving for college even easier."

SB 902 was sponsored by Senators Frank Watson, R-Greenville; Dave Sullivan, R-Mt. Prospect; Duane Noland, R-Blue Mound; Christine Radogno, R-La Grange; David Luechtefeld, R-Okawville; Representatives David Wirsing, R-Sycamore; Jim Fowler, D-Harrisburg; Daniel Burke, D-Chicago; and Larry McKeon, D-Chicago.


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