Illinois lawmakers are losing a century old political perk, the ability to award college scholarships. Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation to end the practice after one last round of awards this summer.
The scholarships are actually tuition waivers. Universities educate the students, but don't receive payment. Over the years, legislators have given waivers to the children of friends, campaign donors, and political allies. The program has one basic rule. Legislators must give the waivers to students living in their district. But, even that rule has been broken many times. Some lawmakers insist the waivers ensure deserving students can attend college.
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