Wednesday, October 19, 2016

BILL File: The Student Prosperity Savings Plan

For the past several months, I have been working with stakeholders to draft a very unique bill to help kids living in intergenerational poverty (IGP) and others living below the poverty line to achieve success through college attendance.

Many economically disadvantaged kids are great students.  However, the lack of family financial resources often keeps them away from higher education experiences.  This in turn reduces their opportunities in the labor market and the poverty cycle continues unabated.

Utah currently has a tax incentive for parents or relatives to put money in a savings account specifically for tuition needs of a student.  Most of the kids that have these accounts open live in homes where parents have disposable income.  Yet, the demand for resources is infinitely greater in our IGP community.  Understanding this problem, we set out to find a solution.

In order to work toward a solution, I didn't want to create a giant taxpayer funded program and redistribute wealth from taxpayers to the poor.  For my proposal, I wanted to find a way to connect the wealthy and poor voluntarily.  I believe we have achieved that objective in our proposal.

Here is a copy of the bill:

Here is a brief outline of what the bill does:

Our presentation today was very fruitful and the committee asked some very good questions.  We will be making some technical revisions to the bill and presenting it to the committee in November for a vote.  If you are interested in hearing my presentation, you can listen to it HERE.

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