Ill. Senate votes to end legislative scholarships | St. Louis Public Radio

Ill. Senate votes to end legislative scholarships

May 3, 2012

The Illinois Senate has agreed to end the practice of letting lawmakers hand out free college educations to their constituents.

For years, the Senate had been the last roadblock in efforts to end the program. Thursday's Senate vote makes it likely the Illinois House and governor will quickly take the final steps in getting rid of the tuition waivers.

The measure passed 43-5, with five senators voting "present."

Lawmakers have sometimes awarded scholarships to the children of donors and political allies or even their own relatives. They have also violated the rule saying recipients must live in the legislator's district.

But supporters say the scholarships let them help promising students who otherwise would not be able to attend college.