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Governor Seeks Bill Abolishing Controversial Scholarship Program

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Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan

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Updated 10/13/11 – 2:15 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Gov. Pat Quinn is asking Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to support legislation that would abolish the controversial legislative scholarship program.

On Wednesday, Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said the speaker would block Quinn’s efforts to eliminate the program through an amendatory veto.

Madigan believes Quinn was violating the Illinois Constitution by rewriting legislation aimed at blocking state lawmakers from giving tuition waivers to relatives.

Madigan has voted before to get rid of the program, but Brown said the speaker would not let the House vote on whether to accept Quinn’s amendatory veto because the governor’s move was unconstitutional.

Quinn said Thursday that he’s disappointed with Madigan’s position and he wants lawmakers to abolish the program when they return to Springfield for the fall veto session.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

The scholarship program has been criticized for years as lawmakers have handed out tuition waivers to family members, friends and students with ties to campaign contributors – in some cases skirting rules against giving the tuition waivers to people outside their districts.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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