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Degree bill inspired by University of Illinois instructor James Kilgore advances

Published: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 11:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 11:04 p.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate has passed legislation that would make it illegal to use a degree obtained under a false name or other false pretenses to get a job or enter an advanced degree program.

The bill passed Monday doesn’t name former Symbionese Liberation Army member and current University of Illinois instructor James Kilgore. But state Sen. Chapin Rose has said he added the language about false pretenses because of Kilgore.

Kilgore earned a degree in South Africa under an assumed name. He fled after taking part in a 1975 bank robbery that led to the death of a California woman.

Kilgore later served a six-year sentence for second-degree murder. He has worked at the University of Illinois since 2011.

The bill is HB4090 and awaits House action.

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