Illinois’ controversial legislative scholarship program has been eliminated under a new law cosponsored by Senator Bill Brady.
House Bill 3810, which ends the century-old program, was approved by lawmakers in May and signed by the Governor July 11.
“I was one of the first lawmakers to call for eliminating the scholarship program, and in recent years have sponsored several bills addressing that issue, including House Bill 3810,” Senator Brady said. “The other bills were never allowed a vote, but Democrat leaders finally agreed the program must be ended.”
In recent years, the media uncovered reports of program abuses, including allegations that lawmakers awarded the scholarships to friends, lobbyists, campaign donors, or students outside their districts. Senator Brady said a panel of community and education leaders was responsible for evaluating applications and selecting the recipients of the legislative scholarships awarded by his office over the years.
The 44th District Senator also noted that state did not reimburse the state’s universities for the cost of the program, which totals more than $13 million per year. Instead, the costs were passed on to other students in higher tuition and fees.
Senator Brady and his Senate Republican colleagues quit participating in the legislative scholarship program in early 2012.