Senate committee to discuss tuition, student scholar bills

By Katie O'Connell

The Illinois senate higher education committee will hold hearings Wednesday to discuss in-state tuition for active military personnel and admittance of state scholars.

The committee will consider HB5905, which would provide in-state status for tuition purposes to any active duty military personnel that are reassigned to an out-of-state post or to a different country and their dependents.

Rep. Elizabeth Coulson (R-Glenview), the chief sponsor of the bill, said she drafted the legislation after hearing concerns from her constituents.

“It’s not fair for (military personnel) and their children that they don’t have any state to claim,” Coulson said. “As long as somebody is willing to serve our military they should be allowed to claim in-state status.”

The bill passed through the Illinois House of Representative’s higher education committee with a 14-0-0 vote March 12 and was then approved with a 115-0-0 vote by the House on April 16.

HB 4567, a bill requiring the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to study the number of Illinois State Scholars that are admitted to in-state, public Universities, will also be on the table during the committee hearings.

While this bill would take effect immediately, it is aimed at studying the percent of Illinois State Scholars that apply to Illinois public universities versus the number that are admitted. It is not aimed at changing admittance practices, said Coulson, a co-sponsor of the bill.

“I believe that students who are receiving the accolade of Illinois State Scholar should be rewarded,” Coulson said.

The bill was filed by chief sponsor Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) and unanimously passed through the House’s higher education committee March 12 with a 14-0 vote. It was then unanimously passed by the House on April 16 with a vote of 115-0.