The Illinois House of Representatives approved bi-partisan legislation to abolish the controversial legislative scholarship program. The legislation is House Bill 3810 (HB 3810). Illinois State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) co-sponsored the legislation.
“Our job as legislators is to write legislation and to produce a balanced state budget, this program has been abused and it’s time to take the keys away,” said Rep. Kay. “Our job is not to award scholarships – our job is to ensure the State of Illinois properly funds essential programs.”
House Bill 3810 stems from the alleged fraud and abuse by legislators awarding scholarships without merit to campaign donors and students who do not reside in a legislators district. Since, 1960 Illinois Representatives and Senators have been allowed to award two scholarships annually to students which live in the legislators’ district. HB 3810 eliminates the General Assembly Scholarship program. The scholarship program is an unfunded mandate, costing Illinois universities an estimated $13 million annually.
Representative Kay chose not to participate in the scholarship program since taking office in January 2010 due to the fiscal impact on the State of Illinois budget. House Bill 3810 was approved by the Illinois House 79Y-25N-2P and has been sent to the Senate for approval.