Ill. lawmakers OK college grants without money -

Ill. lawmakers OK college grants without money

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois lawmakers have restored scholarships for about 137,000 college students next semester, even though it's not clear where state government will find the money.

The House and Senate voted Thursday to give $205 million to the Monetary Award Program, which helps needy students pay for college.

The budget approved by lawmakers and Gov. Pat Quinn earlier this year slashed funding for the scholarships.

Lawmakers say they expected Quinn to find money elsewhere in the budget for the MAP program. Quinn says other vital needs ate up all the available money.

Now state officials have agreed to provide the scholarship money and figure out later where it will come from.

Quinn has proposed raising cigarette taxes to pay for it. If that fails, it could mean deeper cuts elsewhere.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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