Sandy Cole “Talks the Talk” But Does She …..

Rep Sandy Cole
Rep Sandy Cole

“Walk the Walk” when it comes to eliminating the unfunded Legislative Scholarship Program? Back on January 23rd I reported about an online petition campaign initiated by Avon Township Supervisor Sam Yingling. The petition urged Cole to join the growing movement against the unfunded Legislative Scholarship Program as Senator Susan Garret, Representative Elaine Nekrtiz, and Representative Karen May had recently done.

In response to that post being added to my Facebook page, I received a message from Cole as follows:

Thank you for supporting my legislation (as chief co-sponsor) to eliminate the legislative tuition waivers. The Illinois Senate needs to act on the legislation that the House overwhelmingly supported — I suggest a petition drive addressed to Democrat Senate President John Cullerton

I wasn’t aware that Sandy Cole was a “co-sponsor” which sent me searching public records. Below is a timeline showing Cole’s participation on eliminating legislative tuition waivers :

The Illinois General Assembly has introduced nine bills (that we know of) to eliminate the Legislative Scholarship Program. The bills and dates they were introduced are as follows:

  • Senate Bill 2570
    Introduced on January 1st, 2011
    Cole had the opportunity to ‘pre-file’ for this bill in the IL House, she did not.
  • House Bill 0227
    Introduced on January 21st, 2011
    Cole was not a Sponsor, a Chief Co-Sponsor or a Co-Sponsor
  • Senate Bill 1317
    Introduced on February 8th, 2011
    Cole, again, had the opportunity to ‘pre-file for this bill in the IL House and again, did not.
  • Senate Bill 2233
    Introduced on February 15th, 2011
    Assuming Cole missed Senate Bill 1317, seven days later she was given the opportunity to ‘pre-file’ for a second bill. She did not.
  • House Bill 2868
    Introduced on February 22nd, 2011
    Cole was not a Sponsor, a Chief Co-Sponsor, or a Co-Sponsor
  • House Bill 3810
    Introduced on October 5th, 2011
    Cole was not a Sponsor, a Chief Co-Sponsor, or a Co-Sponsor
  • House Bill 3901
    Introduced on December 11th, 2011
    Cole signed on as a Chief Co-Sponsor on January 17th. Over a month after the bill was filed and 39 of her colleagues already supported the bill. (see condensed HB3901 bill below)
    PLEASE NOTE: Sam Yingling first called for Rep. Cole to end the Legislative Scholarship Program on January 10th.
  • House Bill 3949
    Introduced on January 1st, 2012
    Cole is not a Sponsor, a Chief Co-Sponsor, or a Co-Sponsor
  • House Bill 3941
    Introduced on January 10th, 2012
    Cole is not a Sponsor, a Chief Co-Sponsor, or a Co-Sponsor

I ask that your attention be directed at House Bill 3901 (condensed) below). What surely must be coincidence is that 7 days after Yingling called on her to end her participation in the Legislative Scholarship Program, she signed onto this bill that had been introduced well over a month before and 39 of her colleagues had already signed on to supporting it

HB3901 which Sandy Cole did NOT sign onto until January 17, 2012
HB3901 which Sandy Cole did NOT sign onto until January 17, 2012

Why this bill (HB3901)? Why now? Cole had 6 other opportunities to take leadership on this issue and yet, signed onto a bill 7 days after Yingling called on her to opt out.

The answer is simple: Cole wants to keep this perk of hers that costs taxpayers millions.

Below are several of Cole’s Press Releases touting the availability and the doling out of such scholarships.

May 12th Press Release
May 12th Press Release
January 28th Press Release
January 28th Press Release
January 31 Press Release
January 31 Press Release
June 28 Press Release
June 28 Press Release

And here’s the real kicker! As of last week, according to the State Board of Education, Representative Sandy Cole has still NOT opted out of the program. Although she has signed onto House Bill 3901 as the 40th Representative to do so, she won’t keep her hand out of the cookie jar.

Cole's Press Releases still offer Legislative Scholarship Program applications
Cole's Press Releases still offer Legislative Scholarship Program applications

I would be curious to know why she decided that HB3901 was the right bill to sign onto and not the other 6 that passed right under her nose? Did she have a change of heart or was she asleep at the wheel?

The overwhelming theme here is hypocrisy. How does Sandy Cole justify voting against this — even taking the step of co-sponsoring — and then continue spending the money? This is highlighted by the fact that the majority of Lake County legislators have opted-out and Senate Republican leader Christine Rodogno has lead her entire caucus out of the program.

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2 Comments

  • LC Truth

    Finally Rep Cole is finally going to get a real opponent. Rep Cole is an absentee representative. She may seen at the Capital, and at GOP functions, but she is rarely seen in public in her district and is extremely disconnected.

  • EV

    Sandy cole is scared of Round Lake, PERIOD, how is someone that lives almost in libertyville have any right to represent The Round Lake community and Grayslake, no one has ever seen her around town, she hates immigrants (wake up sandy cole!!, Round lake is ALL immigrants and wait till you feel the wrath of the second generation voters fighting for their and their families rights, at the poll) she also wants to increase crime rates by denying access to food pantries to HUMANS. personally I am very glad she has her hands full this time around and I cannot wait for her to go back to her affluent subdivision and run for neighborhood watch.

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