The scholarships are technically tuition waivers, so state
universities wind up eating the cost of educating the people who are
granted scholarships by legislators. The waivers sometimes go to the
children of legislators' friends and political allies.
"It is past
time for it to come to an end," Quinn said in his veto message.
Federal prosecutors are investigating scholarships granted by
former legislator Robert Molaro. He awarded them to the children of
a campaign donor, although it's not clear that they lived in his
district, which was one of the requirements for receiving the
Lawmakers have placed restrictions on the scholarships over the
years but have rejected calls for ending the program.
Quinn's amendatory veto doesn't force lawmakers to take action,
but it does create a high-profile decision for them to make. They
can do nothing and let the bill die; they can override Quinn's
changes and keep the scholarships; or they can accept the veto and
end the scholarship program.
Quinn said in his veto message that lawmakers should voluntarily
stop awarding scholarships until they are barred by law. He also
noted that the state's Monetary Award Program lacks money to cover
everyone who qualifies.
"Because of my firm belief in the power of education to uplift
and expand opportunity, I believe we must offer the opportunities
that scholarships create to those that are the most deserving," he
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