Ill. lawmakers vote to abolish tuition waiver perk

After years of bad publicity over cronyism and clout, the Illinois Legislature has voted to end a longstanding program that allowed each lawmaker to hand out taxpayer-funded college tuition waivers to students, the Associated Press reports. The 79-32 vote Monday was the second overwhelming tally in the state House in two months. The latest approval was necessary to endorse changes made in the state Senate, which broke a historic logjam over the issue earlier this month by reversing course and voting to abolish the perk. The measure now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who plans to sign it.

“Scholarships, paid for by Illinois taxpayers, should be awarded only to those with merit who are in true financial need,” the Democrat said in a statement. “Abolishing this program is the right thing to do.”

Under the program, each lawmaker was allowed to award two four-year waivers to public universities per year. Many spread the wealth by handing out eight one-year waivers……Read More