Seven years of employment at one of Illinois’ public universities can get your child a half-price break on tuition. But a bill which has passed an Illinois House committee would end that program. “Tuition rates in our universities keep going up because we are paying to educate children of other state employees,” says sponsoring State Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago). Not everybody agrees.
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“We consider this an earned employee benefit,” says Dave Steelman, a lobbyist for Western Illinois University. Steelman adds the benefit is available only for employees who have seven or more years of service. There is inconsistency as to the financial impact of the discount. Arroyo says it’s $387 million per year; Illinois Board of Higher Education director Jonathan Lackland says it’s $8 million. Lackland could not account for the Arroyo’s estimate.
H.B. 5531 has passed the House Executive Committee.