The Ohio Senate today passed legislation today aimed at making it easier for Ohioans to save money for their children’s education.

Jointly sponsored by State Senators Shannon Jones (R-Springsboro) and John Eklund (R-Munson Township), Senate Bill 6 increases the maximum income tax deduction allowed for contributions to a 529 college savings plan from $2,000 to $10,000 for each beneficiary annually. 

"Ohio's college students are burdened by an overwhelming amount of student debt," said Jones. "Increasing the tax deduction for contributions to an Ohio college savings plan will allow families to save more and borrow less."

In 2013, the average student loan debt for Ohio college graduates was $29,090, higher than the national average. Over 640,000 Ohioans invest in 529 college savings plans, exceeding $9 billion in total contributions. 

“Improving incentives to save can enhance the financial health of all Ohioans,” said Eklund. “When we save for our children’s education, we advance their futureprospects."

The bill also establishes a five-member Joint Committee on Ohio College Affordability in order to recommend strategies for reducing the cost of attending college in Ohio. The Joint Committee, composed of five members from each chamber of the Ohio legislature, would be required to submit a report to the Governor and General Assembly no later than one year after the effective date. 

The legislation passed the Senate with bipartisan support and will now go to the House for further consideration. If enacted, it will take effect immediately upon signing.

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