PARK RIDGE, IL – More than two years after ending his participation in the controversial legislative scholarship program, State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) welcomed the news that the $13.5 million program would officially be eliminated as of September 1.
House Bill 3810, which Kotowski co-sponsored, was signed into law yesterday to abolish the tuition waiver program and set up a task force to review and evaluate all tuition waiver programs offered by state universities that total $415 million a year. The task force will report back to the General Assembly by April 15, 2013.
“This reform eliminates another very unnecessary perk for politicians,” Senator Kotowski said. “We must continue to change business as usual in Springfield by only keeping what works and getting rid of what doesn’t. This program doesn’t and that’s why I took steps to end it two years ago.”
Several media stories have highlighted abuses of the tuition waiver program. According to the reports, some legislators have given scholarships to family members and children of campaign donors.
“There are programs that work, like MAP grants, and we need to do everything we can to support them. This tuition waiver program didn’t because there were no uniform set of standards and no real checks-and-balances,” Senator Kotowski added.