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Beiser measure to increase financial literacy heads to governor

From Illinois Business Journal news services

SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by state Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, designed to improve high school consumer education courses by adding topics such as student loans and identity theft to the state’s curriculum of study, is advancing in the legislature.

Senate Bill 672 was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives and now moves to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

“As the challenges that we face in our economy change, it is important to update the consumer education curriculum that helps prepare graduates for their adult lives,” Beiser said. “Instances of identity theft increase every year and students today take out more loans to pay for college than ever before.”

Currently, topics taught in consumer education courses include financial literacy, budgeting, savings, investing, banking, simple contracts, taxes and home ownership. Senate Bill 672, which Beiser is sponsoring in the House, calls for giving students enrolled in those courses the opportunity to also investigate and study the growing importance of student loans, other forms of consumer debt and identity theft. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimates that total student indebtedness now exceeds $1 trillion.

“Our young adults’ financial future begins the moment they take on a student loan,” Beiser added. “When and how they pay back their debt will impact their credit scores, and their ability to buy a house or get a loan to start a business. We need to make sure our young adults are prepared to make good financial decisions as early as possible.”


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