(March 7) – A bill by Rep. Brittany Pettersen and Rep. Dave Young to alter college savings accounts to greater benefit middle-class families passed the House Education Committee this afternoon. Currently, 529 college savings accounts disproportionately benefit the wealthy; HB16-1003 reorients the benefits of the tax deductions to help middle class families save for college.

“The opportunity to send kids to college should be available to every family in Colorado, not just the wealthy,” said Rep. Pettersen, D-Lakewood. “The Middle Class College Savings Act is a pathway to increase families’ abilities to save and send their kids to college.”

“Education should level the playing field, but when a college degree is too expensive, middle-class families struggle to catch up,” said Rep. Young, D-Greeley. “This bill gives a chance for middle-class families to save more and make a solid college savings plan.”

“This bill is aimed straight at folks in the middle — Colorado families who make too much to qualify for financial aid but who still struggle to afford college for their children,” testified Ali Mickelson, director of legislative and tax policy at the Colorado Fiscal Institute. “These families are the backbone of the economy, and they want to see their children succeed.”

“I’m 22 years old and a senior at CU Boulder,” Danielle Meltz told the Education Committee. “As someone in the millennial generation, it is impossible not to have a friend, relative, or classmate who is struggling to pay their loans.”

The 6-5 party-line vote sends the bill to the Finance Committee.

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