Public Act 099-0199
SB0223 EnrolledLRB099 03160 NHT 23168 b

    AN ACT concerning education.
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
    Section 5. The Higher Education Student Assistance Act is
amended by adding Section 62 as follows:
    (110 ILCS 947/62 new)
    Sec. 62. Grants for exonerated persons.
    (a) In this Section:
    "Exonerated person" means an individual who has received a
pardon from the Governor of the State of Illinois stating that
such a pardon is issued on the grounds of innocence of the
crime for which he or she was imprisoned or an individual who
has received a certificate of innocence from a circuit court
pursuant to Section 2-702 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
    "Satisfactory academic progress" means the qualified
applicant's maintenance of minimum standards of academic
performance, consistent with requirements for maintaining
federal financial aid eligibility, as determined by the
institution of higher learning.
    (b) Subject to a separate appropriation for this purpose,
the Commission shall, each year, receive and consider
applications for grant assistance under this Section.
Recipients of grants issued by the Commission in accordance
with this Section must be exonerated persons. Provided that the
recipient is maintaining satisfactory academic progress, the
funds from the grant may be used to pay up to 8 semesters or 12
quarters of full payment of tuition and mandatory fees at any
public university or public community college located in this
State for either full or part-time study. This benefit may be
used for undergraduate or graduate study.
    In addition, an exonerated person who has not yet received
a high school diploma or a high school equivalency certificate
and completes a high school equivalency preparation course
through an Illinois Community College Board-approved provider
may use grant funds to pay costs associated with obtaining a
high school equivalency certificate, including payment of the
cost of the high school equivalency test and up to one retest
on each test module, and any additional fees that may be
required in order to obtain an Illinois High School Equivalency
Certificate or an official transcript of test scores after
successful completion of the high school equivalency test.
    (c) An applicant for a grant under this Section need not
demonstrate financial need to qualify for the benefits.
    (d) The Commission may adopt any rules necessary to
implement and administer this Section.

Effective Date: 1/1/2016