SPRINGFIELD – In remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives and in a Tuesday press conference in Springfield, State Representative Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) urged fellow House members and Democrats to debate and pass legislation to make the Invest in Kids program in Illinois permanent. He joined Deputy House Minority Leader Ryan Spain (R-Peoria), Rep. Amy Grant (R-Wheaton), Rep. Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford), and stakeholders in a press conference to show his support in protecting Invest in Kids. Rep. Ugase is a co-sponsor of House Bill 4105 to implement the Invest in Kids credit permanently in Illinois.
“There is one thing we need to do before we leave veto session that cannot wait: changing the sunset on the Invest in Kids Act,” Rep. Ugaste said. “Democrats in the supermajority have control and can determine whether or not we will pass some type of legislation that will remove this sunset. The children in this program don’t have the means to attend their schools and this is solely about providing children with a quality education and equal opportunity. If we don’t extend or remove the sunset, we’re taking away their futures.”
In addition to co-sponsoring HB 4105, Rep. Ugaste introduced House Resolution 412 in September to urge the General Assembly to take a vote on removing the sunset from the Invest in Kids Act. The Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Credit Program was enacted in 2017 and offers a 75% income tax credit to individuals and businesses that contribute to qualified Scholarship Granting Organizations. These organizations then provide scholarships for students whose families meet income requirements to attend qualified, non-public schools and technical academies in Illinois.
During the 2021-2022 school year, the average scholarship value was $8,340 and over 9,000 students participated in the program. The income limit for Invest in Kids recipients is 300% of the poverty level for new applicants and 400% of the poverty level for renewals.
“While there are many issues we can tackle to increase opportunity in Illinois, we can address this particular legislation now and make Invest in Kids permanent,” Rep. Ugaste continued. “Quality education should not be limited to the fortunate few, we should help Illinois families receive the assistance they need to send their kids to the educational institutions where they can thrive.”
Rep. Ugaste is also a member of the Illinois Opportunity Caucus, which seeks to increase opportunity for Illinoisans by reducing taxes, removing overregulation, combating crime, and increasing educational opportunities in Illinois. He outlined the goals of the Opportunity Caucus in September and in an October op-ed in the Chicago Tribune.