Illinois Senate Joins House in Ending Free Rides for Seniors
Legislation awaits Gov. Pat Quinn's signature
With transit agencies falling deeper into debt, Illinois legislators want to limit free rides to seniors.
Updated at 9:03 PM CDT on Monday, Jan 10, 2011
Illinois senior citizens would lose their automatic free rides on public transportation under legislation that has been sent to Gov. Pat Quinn.
The measure -- SB3778 -- would limit the free rides, offering them only to elderly people who are poor enough to qualify for the Circuit Breaker aid program.
The Senate approved the change 54-2 on Monday. The Illinois House passed it on Sunday.
Democratic Sen. Donne Trotter said the state must cut back on expensive programs like this, which gave free service even to wealthy people.
The freebie began when former Gov. Rod Blagojevich inserted into legislation before he was removed from office.
In the past, Quinn has favored keeping the free service. His office did not immediately comment Monday.
Published at 8:55 PM CDT on Jan 10, 2011
Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago