Senate Republicans announced during the week that they will voluntarily walk away from the controversial Illinois General Assembly Legislative Scholarships Program.

Also during the week, Governor Pat Quinn announced plans to close a state-run developmental center in Jacksonville and a mental health center in Tinley Park in 2012. The Governor indicated he also plans to close three other developmental disabilities facilities and possibly additional mental health facilities over the next several years.

The Senate Republican decision to stop participating in the scholarship waiver program drew quick editorial support from the Chicago Tribune. A January 19 Tribune editorial noted: “Republicans in the Illinois Senate are voluntarily suspending their participation in the tuition waiver program that has brought so much dishonor — and so much dishonorable conduct — to the General Assembly.” 

The newspaper then chided the Democrat legislative leaders for their refusal to end the program, pointing out that the Senate Republican action “raises an obvious question for Democratic legislators...What, exactly, is your problem? Do you think citizens by the millions haven’t learned what a rip-off you’re perpetuating?”" />

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