Lawmaker proposes elimination of university employees' tuition breaks

SPRINGFIELD - In the face of tough budget cuts, one state lawmaker is suggesting that tuition waivers for public university employees' children be phased out.

The plan, sponsored by State Representative Jack Franks, would eliminate the tuition waivers over the next four years, and would prevent new students from receiving them next fall.  Franks has announced his intentions to amend his current bill, which eliminates the waivers this year, saying that decision wouldn't be fair to current students.

Franks' proposal is in response to Governor Bruce Rauner's proposed state budget, which makes deep cuts in funding to several areas, including higher education.  Franks says state universities lost nearly $10 million in revenue last year due to more than 2,100 tuition waivers that were issued.

However, some lawmakers oppose this plan.  State Representative Kathleen Willis says she's worried that eliminating the waivers could drive away some university employees.

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