An Illinois Senate education committee has approved a measure to end the controversial legislative scholarship program. The measure creates a task force to study all state university tuition waivers. The existing program allows lawmakers to award two students in their district a four-year tuition waiver to a state university. The measure came under fire after reports that lawmakers have given awards to relatives, children of political allies or students outside their district.
As the 2012 legislative session winds down, lawmakers aren’t touting a long list of accomplishments. They say that’s not due to a lack of work, but mainly a lack of extra money to fund new programs or expand others. Instead, House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the main highlights will be a three-bill attack on Kentucky’s drug abuse problems and passing general and road budgets before the end of the session. In recent years, lawmakers haven’t even been able to pass budgets on time. So Stumbo says this year is a return to normal.
U.S. House Republicans are again attacking new environmental regulations that limit the amount of mercury and other pollution power plants can emit. The new rules were the subject of a House subcommittee meeting today. The hearing, led by Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield, essentially can be summarized like this: Republicans question all of the data released by the Environmental Protection Agency, including the cost of the regulations and their effect on the economy.