(Sacramento, CA) This week, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-Van Nuys) along with Assemblymembers Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) introduced AB 15, which will open a savings account for each child in California. Savings could be used for such purposes as attending college, purchasing a home, starting a business, or funding a retirement account.
“We must be bold and invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs, scientists, and leaders,” stated Assemblymember Nazarian. “Wealth inequality is keeping the door closed on middle- and lower-income advancement nationwide. By creating a savings account for each child, we can jump start our children’s financial independence.”
Unfortunately, 25 percent of California households live in asset poverty. Similarly, research shows that 55 percent of Californians are rent burdened and 15 percent experience severely delinquent student loan debt.
The intention of the bill is to ensure all California children have the financial assets they need to succeed, and level the playing field, by eliminating the administrative barriers to opening a savings account. As California’s cost of living continues to rise, it is imperative for children to understand the importance of long-term savings.
Several California cities, including San Francisco and Oakland, have implemented their own children’s savings account program, with one in Los Angeles in development. Expanding this idea statewide will ensure each child has fair access to economic mobility.
As Frederick Douglass said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” AB 15 will invest in our children’s future, encourage a saving habit in families, allow for the community to directly participate in its children’s success, and, ultimately, help lift people out of poverty.
“Given our growing need for an educated workforce, every California child should have an opportunity to go to college. Studies show children with an education savings account are seven times more likely to attend and graduate college than those without one. This bill puts the state and our youth on the path to a promising future,” said Assemblymember Ting, joint author of the legislation.
Assemblymember McCarty, also a joint author, commented, “As a City Councilmember, I initiated a Kindergarten-to College Savings Program with our local schools and know firsthand that these efforts make a difference in these children’s lives. The State of California should step in and seed college savings accounts for our kids.”
Sabrina Hamm, Managing Director for the California Asset Building Coalition, a statewide network of diverse organizations advancing policies and programs that help low and middle-income Californians climb the economic ladder, expressed the following on the introduction of AB 15: “The California Asset Building Coalition is in strong support of a statewide children's savings account offered to all children in California. Children’s savings accounts have shown to improve life outcomes for not only the child but for their family.”
“The next generation of California children should be afforded fiscal flexibility,” stated Assemblymember Nazarian. “Creating automatic children savings accounts will build wealth and reduce debt.”
The next step for AB 15 is referral to an Assembly policy committee.
Adrin Nazarian represents the 46th Assembly District, serving the San Fernando Valley communities of Hollywood Hills, Lake Balboa, North Hills, North Hollywood, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Universal City, Van Nuys, and Valley Village
CONTACT: Brian Stedge, (818) 376-4246, Brian.Stedge@asm.ca.gov