SB0223 EngrossedLRB099 03160 NHT 23168 b

1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Higher Education Student Assistance Act is
5amended by adding Section 62 as follows:
6    (110 ILCS 947/62 new)
7    Sec. 62. Grants for exonerated persons.
8    (a) In this Section:
9    "Exonerated person" means an individual who has received a
10pardon from the Governor of the State of Illinois stating that
11such a pardon is issued on the grounds of innocence of the
12crime for which he or she was imprisoned or an individual who
13has received a certificate of innocence from a circuit court
14pursuant to Section 2-702 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
15    "Satisfactory academic progress" means the qualified
16applicant's maintenance of minimum standards of academic
17performance, consistent with requirements for maintaining
18federal financial aid eligibility, as determined by the
19institution of higher learning.
20    (b) Subject to a separate appropriation for this purpose,
21the Commission shall, each year, receive and consider
22applications for grant assistance under this Section.
23Recipients of grants issued by the Commission in accordance



SB0223 Engrossed- 2 -LRB099 03160 NHT 23168 b

1with this Section must be exonerated persons. Provided that the
2recipient is maintaining satisfactory academic progress, the
3funds from the grant may be used to pay up to 8 semesters or 12
4quarters of full payment of tuition and mandatory fees at any
5public university or public community college located in this
6State for either full or part-time study. This benefit may be
7used for undergraduate or graduate study.
8    In addition, an exonerated person who has not yet received
9a high school diploma or a high school equivalency certificate
10and completes a high school equivalency preparation course
11through an Illinois Community College Board-approved provider
12may use grant funds to pay costs associated with obtaining a
13high school equivalency certificate, including payment of the
14cost of the high school equivalency test and up to one retest
15on each test module, and any additional fees that may be
16required in order to obtain an Illinois High School Equivalency
17Certificate or an official transcript of test scores after
18successful completion of the high school equivalency test.
19    (c) An applicant for a grant under this Section need not
20demonstrate financial need to qualify for the benefits.
21    (d) The Commission may adopt any rules necessary to
22implement and administer this Section.