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Illinois Senate passes ban on scandal-plagued scholarship program

The Illinois Senate today overwhelmingly approved the elimination of a century-old legislative scholarship program that has come under federal investigation and long been abused by politicians who passed out the tuition waivers to relatives and the offspring of cronies and campaign contributors.

The vote is a milestone at the Capitol because for years the Senate had refused to endorse the ban under both Democratic and Republican control. The bill heads to the House, where Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, supports it.

The tide turned on the issue this week when Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, got behind the proposal. Cullerton acknowledged the majority of the General Assembly has favored abolishing the century-old program. He also faced rising pressure from Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno of Lemont and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, both of whom vigorously pushed to end the program.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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