Daines Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Education Savings Plans to Skilled Workers

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines introduced bipartisan legislation with Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to expand education savings plans to skilled workers to help cover training costs, including, tools, books and equipment.

“My bill will better empower people to pursue the job they want by removing barriers like training costs and will give them the support and resources necessary to make them competitive in their profession of choice,” said Daines. “These are good-paying jobs.”

Statements of Support:

“An IBEW apprenticeship equipped me with the skills I needed for a good paying and rewarding career. Giving families and apprentices access to 529s can help others change their lives for the better as well.” — John Gordon, IBEW Helena Local 233 Business Manager

“More than ever, Montana’s economy needs skilled trades workers. This legislation gives individuals more of an incentive to enroll in apprentice programs and help make sure Montana has the skilled workforce we need to thrive and compete in today’s globalized economy.” — Mark Maki, State Training Director for the Montana Electrical Training Alliance

“Our contractors face a severe skilled labor shortage all across the state, and the country; Senator Daines’ efforts are common sense and most welcome.” — Jim Michlig, Manager/Owner  Kalispell Electric Inc., Kalispell

“The 529 reform offered by Senators Daines is the type of leadership our contractors in Montana need in order to get back to work.” — Curtis Butts, President, Service Electric Inc., Bozeman 


  • Named after Section 529 of the IRS Code, a 529 plan is a tax advantaged savings account intended to be used for higher and continuing education institutions, as well as costs associated with them.
  • Currently, Montanans who attend an apprentice program to master the trade are locked out from accessing 529 plan savings. Daines’ bill will give workers who attend an apprenticeship training program over higher education the same access to savings.
  • Daines’ bill would expand 529 plans to include credited apprenticeship programs for skill-based jobs, including professions like construction, mechanics, plumbing and bricklaying.

The Legislation is Supported By:

  • Construction Employers of America
  • FCA International
  • International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers
  • International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • Mechanical Contractors Association of America
  • National Electrical Contractors Association
  • Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors
  • National Association Signatory Wall and Ceiling Contractors Alliance
  • The Association of Union Contractors
  • United Brotherhood of Carpenters