News Local/State

Lawmaker Suggests Eliminating Tuition Waivers For University Employees’ Children


A lawmaker says children of public university employees should not receive a tuition break.

Currently, students can get half of their tuition paid for by the state if one of their parents works at a public university. Rep. Jack Franks, a Democrat from Marengo, says he wants to make college more affordable for everyone, but higher education budget cuts make the tuition waivers impossible to maintain.

"I see the state of Illinois pretty much on a lifeboat, and we're sinking and we can't afford to do everything," Franks said. "I wish we could, but this is not the time that we can continue to have these type of perks."

Franks says it would save nearly $10 million. The idea has come up before but failed to win approval.

House Bill 403 was offered up for discussion on Wednesday. Opponents say tuition benefits are what make Illinois universities competitive in attracting employees. Some lawmakers want the change to only apply to new hires.

Franks says he will consider the suggestions and possibly add amendments before taking it to a vote.