Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday signed legislation to end so-called “legislative scholarships.” But just a few months ago, he was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a legislator who’s been accused of repeatedly abusing the tuition waivers. Brian Mackey reports:
Back in February, Quinn held a press conference to propose what he called the “Lincoln Amendment.” It would allow for stronger state government ethics laws through voter referenda.
QUINN: “And that’s why we’re here today with a senator who believes in the right to vote, and why don’t you say a few words if you would, Anazette.”
COLLINS: “Uh, thank you. Thanks, Governor Pat Quinn. I’m pleased to be here with one of the most ethical oriented — oriental officials that I have had the pleasure of knowing.”
That’s Sen. Anazette Collins, a Democrat from Chicago. The Chicago Sun-Times reported she handed out tuition waivers to people living outside her district, allegedly breaking one of the program’s few rules. Now published reports say she’s the subject of a federal criminal investigation.
Quinn was asked about Collins and his ethics proposal after signing the legislative scholarship ban.
QUINN: “You know, she was willing to sponsor the legislation — uh, she came forward. I’ve been for that legislation for probably a decade or more.”
Quinn says he still supports his voter-based ethics initiative.
— Brian Mackey