Speaker Madigan proposes 100-million for Obama Library

Mar 5, 2014

Credit whitehouse.gov
The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Illinois House are taking opposing views on whether Illinois should promise taxpayer money to try and lure President Barack Obama's library and museum to Chicago. IPR's Amanda Vinicky has the story.

The head of Illinois' Democratic Party, Michael Madigan, wants Illinois to spend $100 million dollars on a Presidential Library and Museum for Barack Obama.

It's up to Obama to choose where it'll be located. In a press release, Madigan, who's also Speaker of the Illinois House, says for Obama to pick Illinois would be a "lasting testament to his contributions and leadership as an Illinois state senator, U.S. Senator and president of the United States."

But House Republican Leader Jim Durkin says if Illinois could get back to rosier budget days, he'd give the idea consideration.

"Right now the state is hemorrhaging money. Debt is one of the highest in the nation. I think that the efforts of the General Assembly should be tightening the finances of the state and paying their bills before we start putting money out into other projects."

Durkin says it's a question of priorities.  He also says the proposal is premature, given that other states like Hawaii, where Obama was born, are still in the running.

Madigan's plan gives no indication of where Illinois would get the money.