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Washington to get new college savings plan

OLYMPIA –Washington will set up up a new college savings program and re-open an existing program that was put on hold when tuition was reduced at state institutions.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that sets up a 529 Savings Plan, which will allow people to invest in stock or bond funds and earnings from their investments won’t be subject to federal taxes if it is used for qualified college expenses. Such plans have low administrative costs and Washington’s will accept investments of as little as $25.

The plan will be set up by the end of next year by the Guaranteed Education Tuition Committee, which also oversees the program that allowed people to purchase at current rates tuition hours that could be used in the future. That program was suspended last year when the Legislature cut tuition at state colleges and universities but is scheduled to reopen by July 1, 2017.