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July 23, 1999

Governor Signs Legislation To Boost College Student Awards

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan has signed legislation that boosts the maximum award for college students under the state's Monetary Award Program by about 5 percent, to more than $4,500 a year.

By enacting Senate Bill 462, which amends the Higher Education Student Assistance Act, the maximum award will increase to $4,530 for full-time undergraduate students from the current level of $4,320. Awards for part-time undergraduate students will increase to $3,265, or the total of tuition and fees, whichever is less. The current maximum grant for a part-time student is $2,160.

"With this increase, the state will be helping more college-bound students realize their dreams at an Illinois college or university," Ryan said.

The MAP program, administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, is the second-largest state need-based grant program for undergraduate students in the country. MAP grants are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need and who attend Illinois community colleges, public universities, and private colleges and universities.

The MAP program currently provides more than $310 million in aid to an estimated 130,000 undergraduate students in Illinois.

Senate Bill 462 was sponsored by state senators. Frank Watson, R-Greenville; Kimberly A. Lightford, D-Chicago and Vince Demuzio, D-Carlinville; state Rep. Connie Howard, D-Chicago; Dale Righter, R-Matoon; Jack McGuire, D-Joliet; William O'Connor, R-Berwyn; and Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth.

The governor also took action on the following bills:

Ryan signed House Bill 1234, legislation that "levels the playing field" for beverage retailers by requiring their distributors to provide them with prior notice before any changes are made in their contractual agreements.

House Bill 1234 helps to clarify that the Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act applies to all contracts between manufacturer, distributors and Illinois retailers. It strengthens the prohibition on manufacturers who attempt to force a distributor to waive their rights under the Act. The legislation also prohibits manufacturers from presenting a contract to a retailer that provides for mandatory arbitration.

House Bill 1234 was sponsored by state Rep. Louis Lang, D-Skokie; and state Sen. Larry Walsh, D-Joliet.

The governor signed Senate Bill 463, which amends the Higher Education Student Assistance Act to expand the definition of "part-time student" for the purposes of determining monetary eligibility for summer students. The act changes the enrollment requirements from six or more credit hours to include "students who enroll in less than six semester or quarter hours of credit courses." The bill is designed to make more part-time summer school students eligible for the state's MAP award to help them finish their degrees faster.

Senate Bill 463 was sponsored by Watson and state Rep. Judy Erwin, D-Chicago.

Ryan signed House Bill 404, which amends the Illinois Power of Attorney Act. The new law replaces an existing act that authorizes a person with power of attorney to donate an individual's body for medical purposes with a specific authorization to make an anatomical gift of any organ or specified organs. The law is intended to clarify the provisions in the power of attorney short form for health care regarding organ donations. The new language matches the language on the back of Illinois' drivers' licenses regarding organ donation.

House Bill 404 was sponsored by Renee Kosel, R-New Lenox and state Sen. Kathleen Parker, R-Northfield.

The governor signed House Bill 423, which amends and expands the Hospital Licensing Act. The new law requires public disclosure of hospital information including: licensing, final inspection records, final survey records and reports involving complaint investigations conducted by the Department of Public Health. Hospitals currently are responsible for posting the facility's current license, a description of the procedure for filing a complaint, a list of orders pertaining to the hospital and a list of material available for public inspection under the act.

House Bill 423 was sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago and state Sen. Christine Radogno, R-LaGrange.


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