State lawmakers split on supporting Obama library

By Alex Davis |

Published 04/22 2014 04:54PM

Updated 04/30 2014 05:27PM

Update: 4:58 pm, 4/30/14, Wednesday
ILLINOIS -- The controversy surrounding a potential landmark in the state continues heating up. The Illinois House Committee is voting for a second time Wednesday. It's deciding whether or not to approve $100 million in funding for the Obama Presidential Library and Museum.

Critics say the state can't afford it, but House Speaker Michael Madigan (D) says the project "needs" everyone's support. Madigan also says the state set aside the same amount of funding for the Abraham Lincoln Museum and Library. The Obama Administration has not said if the President supports the idea or not.
Original: 4:54 pm, 4/22/14, Tuesday
ILLINOIS -- A plan to use taxpayer dollars to help win the bid for an Obama Presidential Library is being reined in a bit. Some lawmakers say last week's procedure to pass it out of committee was not ethical. Mostly Republicans want a chance to vote.

Last week, lawmakers who attended hearings held Wednesday and Thursday, were counted as "yes" votes for the museum. Mostly Republican lawmakers are saying the whole approach is a violation of House rules, but a spokesperson for Speaker Michael Madigan (D) says the move is justified since the state need to be competitive to get the bid; competitive meaning Illinois would pony up some $100 million to sway a committee to build the museum here.

Republicans say now is not the time to spend $100 million in tax dollars to build the library. Plus, they say every other presidential library and museum was built with private funds, excluding the treasured Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The House executive committee is expected to vote on it April 30.

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