HARRISBURG ­­­­– June 26, 2018 – A program that would create $100 savings accounts for Pennsylvania newborns was signed into law Friday and praised by State Senator Vincent Hughes.

Senator Hughes was the prime co-sponsor to Senate Bill 1130, which addressed the Keystone Scholars program, prior to it being added to the budget as a part of Fiscal Code (Act 42) in the 2018-2019 budget. Any child who is a Pennsylvania resident at birth or adopted by a Pennsylvania family on or after January 1, 2019, will be eligible to participate in the program.

“I supported the Keystone Scholars program from the beginning because I believe in the power of education and the opportunities it provides,” Hughes said. “The $100 investment into Pennsylvania students helps create the mindset that higher education can be a reality while also encouraging families to plan for the future while a child is still young. Thank you to Treasure Joe Torsella, Senator John Gordner and Representative Duane Milne for supporting this, as well as Gov. Tom Wolf for signing this program into law.”

The $100 scholarship grant will grow through investment in a PA 529 account, and is not paid for with any taxpayer funds, according to Treasurer Joe Torsella. The program will be funded from existing surplus investment earnings within the PA Guaranteed Savings Program as well as philanthropic donations. Families have until their child turns 29 years old to use the funds. The scholarship grant – and any additional college savings each family saves by opening a PA 529 account – can be used for any qualified higher education expense at an approved institution of higher education, including trade schools, vocational programs, community colleges, and universities in or outside Pennsylvania.

“Keystone Scholars also provides students with a multitude of outlets to pursue after high school, should they choose to choose an alternative route to a 2- or 4-year institution,” Senator Hughes said. “This will hopefully be one of the many initiatives pushing this state into a 21st century economy through the opportunities it provides.