A senator in the middle of Illinois’ academic belt is concerned about the future of the College Illinois! 529 savings plan. “If things continue without reforms, this program is very financially distressed,” says State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington). He says the program's funding, while improving, is still at 72 percent, with an unfunded liability of $448.5 million. He's introducing a couple of bills which he hopes help.
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“Public universities and colleges would be required to certify future costs of tuition and mandatory fees so that the investment fund has solid cost figures on which to base its contracts,” Barickman said of one of his bills. The other, he says, includes reforms such as limiting future sales to annuity plans. The commission says the recession and rising tuitions are partly to blame, the performance is improving, and ISAC would like to talk more with Barickman about his proposals.