The governor says he’ll accept nothing less than abolition of the state’s General Assembly scholarship program this year. Gov. Pat Quinn has twice rejected measures intended to reform the program, saying it should be eliminated. He renewed his call this year after the state ran out of money for other scholarship funds.
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“The money that we have for needy college students, our Monetary [Award] Program, for needy students… all that money has been exhausted at the earliest time I think in Illinois history,” says Quinn. The legislative scholarship program has no impact on the state’s general revenue funds, but costs universities as it mandates they waive tuition for accepted students. The program has come under fire as lawmakers have been caught giving awards to ineligible students, but those who say they follow the rules don’t want it eliminated. A measure to eliminate the program easily passed the House, and now awaits Senate action. “We have so many other issues to work on, but this one clearly… I think the legislators realize the public is very impatient with the way that political scholarship program of the legislature is handled,” says Quinn.