Thursday, May 3, 2012

McGuire Helps Kill Controversial Illinois Legislative Scholarship Program

Springfield, IL- State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) today joined his colleagues in the Illinois Senate and voted to end the controversial legislative scholarship program.  McGuire, in office for two months, chose not to participate in the scandal-ridden program and has vocally supported its abolition.

"Programs that aren't on the up-and-up have to go," McGuire said.  "Getting rid of legislative scholarships is an important step toward restoring confidence in Illinois government."

The Legislative Tuition Waiver Program allows each member of the General Assembly to send residents of their districts to Illinois' public universities for only the cost of room and board.   Although often referred to as a scholarship program, state universities actually receive no extra funding to cover the cost of students who receive these waivers.

The tuition waiver program has faced criticism over the past several years.  Legislators have allegedly awarded scholarships to elected officials' family members, personal friends, campaign donors, and even students who reside outside of their districts.

"The State of Illinois has better ways to spend its money than on legislative scholarships, and the General Assembly has more important issues to address," McGuire said.  "We must work on making higher education affordable for everyone.  We also must make sure students graduate and are ready to work and make our state great again."