SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — If you had any doubts state lawmakers played favorites when awarding free state college scholarships over the years, doubt no more.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Gov. Pat Quinn ended the legislative scholarship program because of abuses. There is even a federal investigation into how three lawmakers used the perk.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Showers By Daybreak
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
But analysis by the Chicago Tribune indicates that over the past 10 years, at least 75 legislators awarded free scholarships for state universities to the children of people who contributed to their campaigns or other political funds they controlled.
Eight lawmakers gave out multi-year scholarships this year to get around the program being abolished, the Tribune reported.READ MORE: Oak Lawn Woman Got Locked Out Of Her Facebook Business Account, And Even Facebook Can't Be Sure If The Email To Blame Was A Scam
Quinn signed the bill abolishing legislative scholarships in July. The program was supposed to be limited to students who lived in the lawmakers’ districts, but some lawmakers failed to meet that stipulation as they gave the scholarships to political allies and campaign donors.
Better Government Association executive director Andy Shaw said in January that an investigation by his organization found more than 90 cases in the last five years of legislators misusing the program as political payback.
The BGA in January launched a petition to abolish the program.MORE NEWS: They Had A Tough Year Of E-Learning, But Southland College Prep Seniors Have Now Racked Up More Than $50 Million In Combined Merit Scholarships
But supporters complained that ending the program would hurt those who really need the scholarships – poor students.