New State Legislative Season Opens With Flurry of CSA Activity
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
By guest bloggers Diego Quezada and Shira Markoff, Prosperity Now
State legislative sessions in the last few months have brought a wave of children’s savings account (CSA) policy activity. In both Democratic- and Republican-leaning states, state legislators introduced bills to create CSA programs. CSAs are long-term savings or investment accounts that provide incentives to help children ages 0-18 – especially low-income children – build dedicated savings for postsecondary education. Read on to see what’s happening in your state or to learn more about this policy trend.
Illinois: Rep. Robyn Gabel introduced a bill that would create an automatic, at-birth CSA program with a $50 initial deposit for all children born or adopted in Illinois.
Nebraska: State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan introduced the Meadowlark Scholarship Act, which would create a $100-seeded 529 account for each of the roughly 25,000 children born in the state every year. State Sen. Anna Wishart introduced a second bill, which would create a matching grant program within the state’s 529 plan. Children whose households have incomes at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level would be eligible for a match of deposits made into a 529 account.
New Hampshire: Reps. Mary Heath and Patricia Cornell introduced HB689, which would create $250-seeded 529 accounts for public school students who have completed a financial literacy program in the second grade or later.
New Mexico: State Rep. Andrés Romero introduced a bill that would create a CSA program with a $500 initial deposit for infants whose family is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
Washington: State Rep. Christine Kilduff introduced a bill that would create a CSA program with a $100 initial deposit for low-income kindergarten students in the state's public schools.
CSA-related legislation has also been introduced recently in Kansas, Massachusetts, and New York. Additionally, California governor Gavin Newsom included $50 million to support CSA pilots and partnerships with local governments and philanthropic organizations in his recent budget proposal. For information about existing state and local CSA programs, please see this interactive national map.
Prosperity Now’s Campaign for Every Kid’s Future supports the expansion of CSAs to more children across the US and publishes regular updates about the CSA movement. For more information on CSAs and how they intersect with college access and success, please see NCAN’s resource page.