The Illinois House passed a bill yesterday to ban the program allowing state legislators to award four-year scholarships to
constituents attending Illinois public universities.
The legislative scholarship program is full of questionable applications as lawmakers reportedly used the scholarships (they can dole out two four-year scholarships each year) to award family, friends, and sons and daughters of campaign contributors. The political momentum to ban legislative scholarships follows State Sen. Annazette Collins' (D-Chicago) Tuesday night loss to her primary election opponent, Patricia Van Pelt Watkins, who accused the incumbent of abusing the program.
A bill to ban legislative scholarships previously passed the House only to die in the Senate. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) opposes an outright ban, arguing that the program should be reformed, not ended.