PONTIAC, IL - State Representative Jason Barickman (R-Champaign) said that he was pleased to finally see the scandal plagued General Assembly scholarship program put to an end. Barickman said the elimination of the program is long overdue, as a number of controversies surrounding the tuition waivers and the undue costs to universities made it a prime target for legislators in 2012.
“Since the first day I took office one of my legislative priorities was to end the G.A. scholarship program. I never handed out the scholarships and it seemed like an obvious place we could save funds for our universities,” said Rep. Barickman. “It was a long, hard fought battle but in the end we got rid of an unfunded mandate on our state universities and put a stop to a program that has had its share of ethical problems.”
House Bill 3810, co-sponsored by Barickman, will eliminate the awarding of General Assembly tuition waivers, which can be split into single year scholarships for eight separate students. The G.A. scholarships have been at the center of a number of recent investigations, including the awarding of scholarships to students living outside the legislative districts and to relatives of campaign donors. The new law will also create a task force to study the awarding of hundreds of millions of other tuition waivers that are given out each year.
HB 3810 was signed into law by Governor Quinn on Wednesday.