SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Sen. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) said Gov. Quinn signed legislation on July 11 that eliminates the long abused and scandal-ridden General Assembly Scholarship program that Senate Republicans unanimously and voluntarily walked away from in January.
House Bill 3810 was signed on the same day that news surfaced of another Chicago Democrat legislator who is under federal investigation for suspected abuse of the program.
Sen. Sandack has long been an advocate to abolish the waivers, opting not to offer the scholarships as soon as he took office in December 2010. He said he was pleased that the Governor has signed the measure into law.
“It was easy to see that this was a tired and grossly abused program whose usefulness had long passed,” Sen. Sandack said. “It clearly needed to be eliminated. I’m pleased the Governor signed this legislation, illustrating that there is no place for political scholarships in Illinois.”
Sen. Sandack said in addition to evidence the program was grossly abused, the legislative revenue component was misleading considering that it was actually an unfunded mandate on colleges and universities that left them with the financial burden.
“It’s great that we’ve finally eliminated this scandal-ridden program so colleges and universities won’t be forced to pick up the tab for these scholarships given on behalf of state legislators,” he said. “It will lessen their financial burdens a little bit.”
House Bill 3810 also creates a task force that will review all tuition and fee waivers offered by state universities and colleges in order to ensure that taxpayer money is being spent appropriately and students who need the most help receive sufficient aid.