A press release from State Rep. Kent Gaffney:
Gaffney, Sullivan Turn Down Legislative Scholarship Program
Barrington, IL… Due to State budgetary troubles, State Representatives Kent Gaffney (R-Lake Barrington) and Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein) have jointly decided to turn down the General Assembly Scholarship Program offered to each legislator in the Illinois General Assembly.
The General Assembly Scholarship Program is an unfunded mandate that allows legislators to award up to eight scholarships each year covering tuition at State universities.
“While many people have benefited from this program, in times like these, unfunded mandates and extra costs to the State need to be reviewed,” said Gaffney. “Illinois just had its ninth bond downgrade in the past four years and the State is facing billions of dollars of unpaid bills. We need to look at every option available to save taxpayer dollars, this not the time to be awarding Legislative Scholarships.”
In 2011, 1,327 tuition waivers were awarded in Illinois, costing the State $13,508,800. This $13.5 million is an unfunded mandate on State universities, where the cost is then passed on to other students paying tuition. Tuition rates in Illinois have been skyrocketing the past few years. Since 2003, the University of Illinois’ tuition rate has gone up 53%, averaging $14,414 a year. With State finances in dire straights and taxpayers getting hit with a 67% tax increase, Gaffney and Sullivan want to cut costs by not participating in the program.
“I have participated in this program since I was first elected and many deserving students have benefited from these scholarships. However in these tough economic times, tough decisions have to be made,” said Sullivan. “My office will no longer be offering the General Assembly Scholarship.”
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Here’s what Mike Tryon is doing.
Good for Gaffney and Sullivan for bringing more sunshine on the General Assembly Scholarship program which should be abolished.
The list of every past recipient, their awarding legislator, and the college attended should be posted on the internet.
State of IL government is nuts, it pays vendors 6-12 months late, public high education tuition has skyrocketed, bond ratings fell meaning the State pays higher interest on the bonds it issues, yet the State allows state legislators to award state college scholarships with the cost being picked up by the public colleges and universities and thus the taxpayer?