Bill would ban legislative scholarships to relatives


Lawmakers would be barred from giving members of their families tuition waivers under a bill that cleared the Illinois House Executive Committee on Thursday.

Under House Bill 1353, legislators would be barred from giving so-called legislative scholarships to their father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, great aunt, great uncle, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother and half sister. It also bars them from giving the waivers to the father, mother, grandfather or grandmother of the legislator’s spouse or fiancé or fiancée.

“You know the sad thing is … sometimes that could just wipe out my district where they couldn’t get it,” quipped Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro. “’Cause, you know, if we’re not related, we’re tied. Somebody in our family married into somebody in theirs.”

The waivers have been controversial in recent years after legislators were found giving them to the children of family members, friends or campaign contributors.

The committee did not move a bill that would do away with the waivers altogether.

Chris Wetterich can be reached at 788-1523.