SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Quinn again calls for eliminating legislative scholarships

Wednesday, Aug 10, 2011

* Gov. Pat Quinn used his State of the State/Budget speech this past spring to call for the abolition of the legislative scholarship program. He was roundly booed by members. Quinn vetoed a reform bill last year because, he said, he didn’t think reform was enough. Abolition, he said, was the only way to go. Legislators passed another reform bill this year, which would bar legislators from handing out the scholarships to relatives and allowing them to turn over their scholarships to the Student Assistance Commission.

Quinn was asked about the program yesterday by reporters in the wake of revelations that former legislator Bob Molaro’s scholarship records have been subpoenaed by the feds. It sounds like he may use his amendatory veto powers to abolish the program this week

“The essence of the bill on my desk is that it does not abolish the program, and that’s really what I think we have to do,” Quinn said. “I do want to make it clear that there’s no bigger supporter of scholarships than I am. I believe that we need to enhance our scholarship programs in Illinois, but I think having a program that’s had sort of a cloud of scandal around it for decades is not the way to do that.”

Quinn’s comments follow revelations that a federal grand jury has subpoenaed documents related to scholarships former Rep. Robert Molaro gave to children of longtime supporter Phillip Bruno. The Tribune reported last year that Bruno’s children received more than $94,000 in tuition waivers in recent years despite questions about their residence eligibility.

Even the bill’s chief sponsor wants Quinn to do an AV

The legislation’s chief Senate sponsor, Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale), urged Quinn Tuesday to tweak the legislation to provide for an outright abolition of the program — something that the governor has called for repeatedly but that has never gained legislative traction over the years.

“Rep. Molaro is the latest in a long string of questionable practices of a program that should have been abolished previously. He’s just one more in a string of abuses,” Dillard said.

“The governor, with his amendatory veto power, can rewrite the bill to end the controversial General Assembly scholarship program. Procedurally, we could kill this program in one day during the veto session,” Dillard said.

* Molaro background, in case you haven’t been keeping up

[Molaro] previously told the Chicago Sun-Times that there was nothing wrong with the scholarships he awarded.

An April 26 subpoena to the Illinois State Board of Education from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald seeks application forms, nomination forms and other documents related to legislative scholarships granted to four children of a Molaro campaign donor.

A July 20 subpoena to the board of education asks for “all documents relating to the Illinois General Assembly Legislative Scholarships nominated/issued” from Molaro.

The Chicago Tribune reported last year that the Molaro supporter’s four children may not have been eligible for the scholarships because of questions about whether they lived in Molaro’s district.

* I asked the spokespeople for both Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan if their respective bosses believe the program should now be abolished.

From Cullerton’s spokesperson Rikeesha Phelon…

Senate President Cullerton has supported efforts to reform the system by specifically addressing the abuses, rather than abolishing a program that has provided educational opportunities for hardworking students in need of financial support.

So, count Cullerton as a “No.”

From Madigan’s spokesman Steve Brown…

I think if you check the roll calls the Speaker has voted to abolish the GA scholarships repeatedly.

Kind of a “Yes,” but not really.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


36 Comments
  1. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 7:43 am:

    Stick a fork in this program, it’s done.


  2. - JustaJoe - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 7:50 am:

    Razzle-Dazzle with small stuff.


  3. - downstate hack - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 7:53 am:

    It is time to end this program. While most members did a good job and picked laudable recipients, there is still too many questionable practices. Better use the resources to increase general scholarship funds at the Universities.


  4. - MeAgain - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 8:17 am:

    Ok let me get this straight; It’s wrong to give political supporters scholarships, but right to reward them with appointments to jobs that pay 100k plus?


  5. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 8:23 am:

    MeAgain,

    It’s okay for a governor to bring in his team, as long as they are competent to complete their tasks. If they are found wanting, they should be removed by those who placed them in their positions. The press and watchdog groups should monitor these appointees closely. And voters should take these people into account in the voting booth.


  6. - Esquire - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 8:42 am:

    How hard would it be to legislate some type of objective criteria for a high school student to obtain such a scholarship on the basis of academic merit? Put an end to the friends and family members nonsense and let deserving students compete for the scholarships. If the legislature does not want to adopt rules, then abolish the scholarships.


  7. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 8:43 am:

    Get rid of it, put those scholarships into a needs/merit based program instead. In fact, I’d even support breaking it up by legislative districts just as it is now, just keep the legislators from doing the picking.


  8. - frustrated GOP - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 8:47 am:

    If we use the similar test of misuse of a program, how many programs in the State would we have? I guess we would have to get rid of the governors office.
    This program isn’t a bad program, we simply need to remove some of these people who don’t get what it means to be a good State rep or Sen.


  9. - MrJM - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 8:49 am:

    Get rid of it, put those scholarships into a needs/merit based program instead.

    Or even a lottery. In fact, almost any system would be fairer — and a better use of the funds — than the current legislative scholarship system.

    – MrJM


  10. - Bonsaso - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 8:59 am:

    The program costs the universities money. It’s a perk to legislators that should go. Anyone who received a scholarship but didn’t reside in the right district should have to pay the money back. The program needs to go.


  11. - mokenavince - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 9:25 am:

    Only friends of our Aristacart politicans recieve
    them , so dump the program.Start all over and let
    regular citizens choose who gets the scholarships.


  12. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 9:25 am:

    These are not scholarships, they are tuition waivers that all taxpayers foot the bill for, not just the voters in a legislator’s district, same as the monetary award program. If you want to make the field more equitable, make the tuition waiver a no interest loan to the student not based on family income. If the student does not graduate with a degree or certificate within a specified time, then tack interest onto the loan.


  13. - GMatts - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 9:55 am:

    Wow. Quinn really nails the small stuff. Now, if he could actually make/keep big decisions which favor the middle class.


  14. - Jake From Elwood - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 9:56 am:

    Let’s just say the scholarships aren’t exactly need-based. I know two wealthy families whose B students were awareded these waivers. Just another fresh cut of pork that should be jettisoned.


  15. - Fed up - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 10:22 am:

    Maybe someone could call for the end of silly state boards so Quinn doesn’t get to hand out jobs to political donors or friends and family of his allies.


  16. - Responsa - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 10:42 am:

    One small step…. You go Quinnie! Maybe you’ll start to get the hang of this and find you enjoy the praise and appreciation you get from regular Illinois taxpayers by showing some leadership and responsibility. Yes. The eternally clouted and scandal-ridden “Legislative scholarships” need to go.


  17. - Both Sides Now - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 10:46 am:

    I wholeheartedly agree these “legislative scholarships”/tuition waivers should be abolished. But while we’re at it, how about abolishing the same perk for the children of state university employees. Why should we pay for their children to go to college? I’m a state employee and you’re not picking up the tab for my son. And please don’t say, “well, it’s part of their compensation package…”. The state university employees are for the most part union employees who are making a very nice salary. Why should they earn a $20,000+ annual perk on top of that?


  18. - mcbroke - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 11:11 am:

    Both Sides Now — my thoughts precisely!


  19. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 11:13 am:

    Get rid of them for everyone associated with government. They foster an entitlement attitude among our public servants.


  20. - Seriously??? - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 12:29 pm:

    This is the same crap that goes on with “legislative grants” (earmarks). Which I think have been curbed somewhat but are probably still well hidden in the budget somewhere. Legislators cherry pick programs in their districts that they want to give money to without any formal process or oversight. These scholarships are the same thing.


  21. - Deep South - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 12:51 pm:

    Both Sides Now,

    Do yourself a favor. Check out the facts about the “waivers” for children of university employees. Maybe then you won’t come off sounding so ignorant the next time you post something about this. And as for employees being, “for the most part union employees,” well, that’s just the icing on your ill-informed, drive-by comments.


  22. - Ray del Camino - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 1:23 pm:

    Right–

    What children of university employees get (after having been there for at least seven years) is half-off of in-state tuition at any public university they can get into. That is most certainly *not* the “same perk.” It is also definitely not $20,000 a year. I’m trying to figure out how someone could honestly get to that figure.


  23. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 1:36 pm:

    Quinn AV’s just a couple of minutes ago.


  24. - mcbroke - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 1:44 pm:

    Deep South and Ray del…………I’d like to be educated on the waivers. I agree half off in-state tuition isn’t $20,000.00 per year, but it’s over $20k for four years. Who makes up the half-price tuition? My neighbor who makes just at $100k/yr has sent all four of his children thru U of I at half price……….even he can’t tell me how this works……….”it’s just the rules.” If the tax payer isn’t paying the other half of the tuition, then I guess all who are residents of IL qualify for half-price tuition. Right?


  25. - Deep South - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 2:10 pm:

    McBroke,

    Yes, it is half priced tuition for children of university employees who have been working at their university for at least seven years. Fees are not discounted. So for four years, we’re talking about $15,000 in waivers. No real tax dollars go to pay this…universities just lose the revenue. Of course, as stated, they still collect the fees. Yes, the kids of union plumbers, electricians and building maintenance staff are offered this benefit….as well as non-union staff…those who work in the library or at university research facilities, etc. You know, the everyday people who are ripping off the taxpayers with their high salaries. But then again, upper administrators and the faculty who teach the students are eligible, too.


  26. - mcbroke - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 2:27 pm:

    Didn’t mean to hit a nerve Deep South. Honestly wondered. But I still question why this perk is necessary. When the university loses revenue, don’t they just pass this loss along to those of us not qualifying for the waivers? My point is, why have legislative scholarships, tuition waivers, etc. But the responses here well illustrate why nothing is getting cut — in State of Federal government.

    sorry Rich, I realize this has gotten way off point.


  27. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 2:42 pm:

    “The eternally clouted and scandal-ridden “Legislative scholarships” need to go.”

    Along with feeding funds to greedy friends’ and family’s “businesses”.


  28. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 2:47 pm:

    And setting each up for pensions and high-paying jobs within government.


  29. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 2:49 pm:

    This link might help on the uni employee tuition waiver policy questions

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=University+of+Illinois+employee+tuition+waiver


  30. - Deep South - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 4:11 pm:

    McBroke….I understand what you’re saying, and yes, the debate is over whether these waivers should continue. My beef is with the mis-information that was posted….seems to me that we should know the facts before the issue can be properly debated.


  31. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 4:11 pm:

    Here is a straightforward situation that aches for a stern hand to lead. It is an easy call - even PQ says he wants it done. An AV can make it disappear. PQ pulls that off he looks decisive, forthright, yes - even populist. GO FOR IT PAT!


  32. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 4:28 pm:

    Just like the Dow Jones Industrial Average on the whole lately..it’s goin’ down….Memo to the Gov. and Legislature: “SELL!”, ‘cuz this particular program–although it may have benefited some very worthy kids in years past–has just too often reeked of political favoritism and on the whole to the average Joe Q. Public, just always had a rancid smell to it….


  33. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 9:47 pm:

    Quinn’s on the side of the angels here.

    They’re not “scholarships,”, which implies some merit for tuition being paid by the state to the university. They’re waivers granted by political warlords for any reason they choose in which the schools get nothing.

    Go ahead, GA members, bloviate about the injust of getting rid of this medieval nonsense. It should be a litmus test; if you’re for it, you should be out.


  34. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Aug 10, 11 @ 10:16 pm:

    G-D those legislators, behaving in ways we don’t approve of. If only there were elections so the ones who misuse the program could be replaced. Remember the immortal Pogo!


  35. - JustMe - Thursday, Aug 11, 11 @ 8:59 am:

    Last year I was unemployed and going through bankruptcy. My daughter was and honor student, election judge volunteer, church volunteer, and held a part time job. She received a scholarship from Sen. Pamela Althoff. Had this not happened, there is no way we could have paid her tuition. Reform it, don’t kill it!


  36. - Jennifer - Thursday, Aug 11, 11 @ 9:37 am:

    Oh no !
    What will the rich kids do? Work?
    Probably not…..
    Probably end up at one Illinois many CASINOS.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Fracking rules finally unveiled
* Question of the day
* A big IDOT roundup
* Even Steven, for now
* *** UPDATED x1 - Confirmed *** Report: Libertarians file charges
* Big guys dinged a bit, but little guys helped a lot
* Today's photo
* Stark contrasts on taxes, minimum wage
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * HTC Nexus tablet leaked to come with keyboard folio cover
        * Sony Xperia Z3 Compact press photos show bright colors
        * iWatch price, iPhone 6 phablet leaks, Google event & more – Pocketnow Daily
        * Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2 tipped to bring some much needed updates
        * Openmix turns you into a smartphone DJ
        * Our top 10 new Windows Phone games of August
        * Apple Reveals Common Reasons for App Rejections on New Developer Page

        * Apple Patches iCloud Bug That May Have Leaked Celeb Photos
        * How Online Technology Spurs Media and Creative Ad Effectiveness
        * Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Leaked, Shows Off Multiple Color Options
        * Sony Teases Water Resistant Products For IFA 2014
        * Grand Theft Auto V Pegged For 14th November Release In The UK
        * YouTube’s Donation Feature Is Now Live In Four Countries
        * iPhone 6 Pre-Order Date Pegged For 19th September By Dutch Carrier

        * Noesi looks to continue push toward season's end
        * Williams conveys important message to Little Leaguers
        * Podcast: Dunn Deal
        * Thoughts on the Adrian Nieto experiment
        * Breaks turn in Quintana's favor against Tigers
        * Molina outrighted; roster spot opens up for Rodon
        * Wilkins, Snodgress part of White Sox shuffle


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Pullman commemorates Labor Day holiday's origins..
        * Divvy faces growing pains in Chicago..
        * Jo Daviess County Illinois..
        * Why is Gov. Pat Quinn living off minimum wage f.....


        * Cubs honor Jackie Robinson West little leaguers
        * Man found dead in central Illinois was hit by car
        * US eating habits improve a bit _ except among poor
        * Study: Action-packed TV might make you snack more
        * Patients to start applying for medical marijuana
        * US Rep. Duckworth announces she's pregnant
        * Bloomington shuttle bus driver charged with DUI
        * Chicago police: Murders down, shootings up
        * Little League team honored with parade in Vegas
        * Rauner vow revives governor's mansion question

        * Audit finds state lax in reviewing eligibility for children’s health insurance program
        * Does the governor need to live in the Executive Mansion?
        * Statehouse Insider: Hands off investments
        * State of unions: AFSCME wins some, loses some on outsourcing
        * State of unions: Domination of Illinois' workforce becomes campaign issue
        * State of unions: Lawmakers approved keeping some workers out of unions
        * State of Illinois posts applications for medical marijuana businesses
        * DNR issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules
        * Quinn grants 38 clemency requests
        * IDNR issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules

        * If only it were this easy to lift share prices
        * 'Chicagoland' star returns to school
        * Amid re-election fight, Quinn pushes through a tax on business
        * Chicago's worst IPO in 2014: Ryerson
        * Why ComEd is worried about your smartphone


        * Moms, dads get kids ready for school
        * ‘Long way to go’ but Roseland Hospital showing signs of stability
        * ‘Long way to go’ but Roseland Hospital shows signs of stability
        * 2 dead, 10 wounded in shootings across Chicago since Friday evening
        * CPS can cheer, but challenges remain
        * Elmhurst couple in murder-suicide were doting parents: neighbors
        * When Europe pays  kidnappers, Americans die
        * Rogers Park woman killed in crash on Tri-State Tollway near Schiller Park
        * Prosecutors: Man in CTA stabbing permanently disfigured
        * CTA offering free rides for students on first day of school


        * Man charged in shooting after soccer match in Oak Forest
        * 2 shot in separate incidents on Northwest, Southeast Sides
        * Cops: Man on moped leads cops on North Side chase
        * Survivors of Elmhurst family laud parents 'unwavering' commitment
        * Survivors of Elmhurst family laud parents 'unwavering' commitment
        * 1 dead, 13 hurt in shootings across city
        * I-90/94 reopened after semi rollover leads to inbound closure
        * Body of Chicago Heights boy, 14, pulled from Kankakee River
        * Rainstorms part of Labor Day forecast
        * Tammy Duckworth pregnant, expecting girl in December


        * Newborn Found Alive In Jacksonville Trash Bin
        * DNR Releases Fracking Rules
        * Listen to State Week - August 29, 2014
        * 'Belleville' The Movie Is NOT A Documentary
        * Journalist and doctor encourage honest conversations about death
        * Undocumented Immigrants Call For Presidential Orders
        * State Retirees To Stop Paying Health Premiums
        * How America's most plentiful bird disappeared
        * Pregnant Workers To Be Protected Under New Law
        * Updates From The Prairie Capital Convention Center


        * Catherine Rampell: Tech firms’ poor record of diversity
        * Audit finds state lax in reviewing eligibility for children’s health insurance program
        * Does the governor need to live in the Executive Mansion?
        * Our Opinion: Driving into floodwater a deadly practice
        * Angie Muhs: A debate in Springfield would send the right message from candidates
        * Charles Krauthammer: Lower corporate tax rates. Now.
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Dillman, Watson looking at possible runs for alderman
        * Statehouse Insider: Hands off investments
        * Statehouse Insider: Hands off investments
        * State of unions: AFSCME wins some, loses some on outsourcing


        * Patients to start applying for medical marijuana
        * MJ college hoops chat (9/3)
        * Illinois to spend another $102M on high-speed rail
        * Bradshaw says Bost is derailing efforts to organize 12th District debate
        * Nearly three years later, city still has one tenant in Main Street warehouse set for demolition
        * Landscaping at I-64 corridor in Fairview Heights will take more time to flourish
        * Our view
        * Fireworks keep kids up late on school night
        * Bloomington shuttle bus driver charged with DUI
        * PHOTOS: Labor Day Pops Concert


        * U.S. carries out counterterrorism strike in Somalia
        * Lawrence calls for investigation into stolen pictures
        * South Carolina political campaign goes to the dogs
        * Big chance for Bears' defense to prove itself
        * Obama: ‘Revving' economy calls for higher wages

        * Roskam: Making college more affordable for...
        * Army Veteran Shane Scherer Joins Roskam's ...
        * Roskam speaks on issues to chamber lunch c...
        * Roskam talks tax reform, health care, immi...
        * Roskam hires wounded veteran in West Chica...
        * Inactive Congress Discussed - Alton Daily ...
        * Roskam, Kirk speak to local business owner...
        * Roskam Talks Taxes - Alton Daily News
        * Nadler introduces resolution condemning an...
        * Roskam gives business leaders vision for f...

        * 47th Annual Labor day picnic...
        * 47th Annual Labor day picnic...
        * 47th Annual Labor day picnic...
        * 47th Annual Labor day picnic...
        * Durbin, Bustos slam Schilling for work wit......

        * Rubio, Colleagues Call For Latin American ......
        * Putin Hopeful Russia Won’t Lose Right to H......

        * Division Street Bridge gets Old Bailey Runaround
        * Report: Minimum Wage Increase Would Help 1 In 5 Illinois Children
        * Southwest Side Chicagoans Question TIF Use In 23rd Ward (UPDATED)
        * Harris v. Quinn: Another Nail In The Coffin Or Shot In The Arm For Labor?
        * OP-ED: What FDR Actually Said And What Bruce Rauner Doesn't Get This Labor Day
        * Election 2014
        * Guest Post: Harris v. Quinn: Another Nail In The Coffin Or Shot In The Arm For Labor?
        * Congresswoman Schakowsky Participates In 'Come Care With Me Day'
        * Why New York City Opposed Abe Lincoln
        * New London school board takes back its offer to “Dr.” Terrence Carter.


        * Governor Quinn Invests $102 Million in High-Speed Rail Upgrades on Chicago-St. Louis Line - Funding Will Improve Capacity, Safety on Joliet-Dwight Segment
        * Quinn Refuses to Answer New IDOT Questions
        * IDNR Delivers Revised Rules to Implement Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act - Rules strengthened to ensure public participation, improve transparency, toughen penalties and protect the environment
        * Governor Quinn Proclaims September as “Recovery Month” in Illinois - Encourages people to speak up about mental illness and substance abuse
        * Governor Quinn Dedicates Jane Byrne Interchange - Governor Renames Circle Interchange in Honor of Chicago’s First and Only Female Mayor to Date




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller