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Bill Could Revoke Tuition Waivers

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor Quinn is calling on the general assembly to get rid of the legislative scholarship program.
SPRINGFIELD -- Governor Quinn is calling on the general assembly to get rid of the legislative scholarship program. Currently, lawmakers are debating the idea and it's beginning to pick up steam at the capitol. WCIA-3's Brittany Harris keeps us Connected to the Capitol.
    People are divided on the issue. The legislative scholarship program faced a lost of scandal over the years. Many want it done away with.
    An area dentist says if it happens, people like him, wouldn't be where he is today. Dr. James Bogess always wanted to be a dentist. But he knew it would be easier said than done. The youngest of six children, his parents couldn't afford to send him to medical school.
    "It's a real hardship for a lot of people, it was for our family and I was very grateful to get it."    
    Bogess is one of thousands who've gotten tuition waivers from lawmakers in Illinois.
    "It can make the difference between continuing your education or not and for a lot of people, I was one of them."
    That's why this dentist doesn't want to see the legislative scholarship program go away. Lawmakers are debating the issue now. Some argue it's become corrupt over the years. Representative Monique Davis disagrees.
    "Two governors two governors in prison but there's not one idea to abolish that office and just use the lieutenant governor."
    "Scholarships should be based for need and only deserving students who are qualified to be admitted and when we don't, we deviate from that I think we're missing the boat."
    The program costs Illinois' universities about $13.5 million annually. Quinn would like to see that money go towards grants for low-income student housing instead.
    Dr. Bogess has his own ideas how to fix the problem.
    "Having some sort of standardized system to hand them out, that takes any kind of bias out of it, is the way to go."
    The bill abolishing the legislative scholarships was passed on the house floor and now moves to the senate.
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