Illinois lawmakers have agreed to give up their much-criticized perk of being able to hand out college scholarships.
The century-old custom has been under fire because some legislators awarded the scholarships to the children of friends and political insiders. Sometimes they ignored the rule requiring recipients to live in the legislator's district.
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."
Committee shuffling has kept measures to end controversial Illinois legislative scholarships from coming to a vote.
Republican leader Sen. Christine Radogno says she's disappointed it was moved to a subcommittee Wednesday and didn't get a vote. Two similar measures have been sitting in the committee since February.
The program allows lawmakers to hand out university tuition waivers to students in their district. It drew criticism after revelations that some legislators awarded waivers to family members, political allies' children or students outside their district.
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An interior view of the Illinois State Capitol dome. More Ill. legislators are refusing to participate in a scholarship program which allows legislators to give students living in their districts tuition waivers to for state-run universities.
Reporting from Rachel Otwell of WUIS used in this report.
More legislators are refusing to participate in Illinois' controversial General Assembly scholarship program. It's a program that allows legislators to give students living in their districts tuition waivers to for state-run universities.
Many lawmakers promise they hold little to no sway in the decision process of who wins a waiver.
But others are accused of ensuring the scholarships go to relatives or campaign supporters, making the program one more example of Illinois policy gone corrupt.