>By Emily Miller

Emily is the BGA’s Policy and Government Affairs Coordinator. Contact her at emiller@bettergov.org. Follow her on Twitter @EJMill.

The Illinois House today passed HB3810, which calls for the elimination of the decades-old legislative scholarship program. The BGA has been at the forefront of a movement to end a program, that’s been the topic of BGA investigations and other media reports documenting how lawmakers have used the scholarships to pay back cronies, political backers and supporters.

“This is an important first step in ending this long-abused and misused program,” said Andy Shaw, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Better Government Association. “Now it is up to the Illinois Senate, and Senate President John Cullerton, to have a floor vote, which we believe will mirror the House vote and send the bill to the governor’s desk for his promised signature.

“Scholarships should not be doled out by legislators, nor should they be used as a way to pay back cronies, political supporters or friends. Scholarships should be granted by state universities that have the expertise to accomplish this important task, not politicians.”