Today in Springfield the House Executive Committee voted 7-4 to recommend the use of $100 million in public funds for construction of an Obama Presidential Library in Chicago. In response to the party-line committee vote, State Representative Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) has issued the following statement:
“I would love to see an Obama Presidential Library in Chicago, but believe it is incredibly irresponsible for the majority party to suggest allocating $100 million in taxpayer money to help fund it. Illinois has colossal financial problems, and at a time when critical budget areas like Education, Human Services, Infrastructure and Public Safety are underfunded, it’s just bad policy to be throwing money we don’t have toward a project we’re not required to fund.
“Representatives from the federal National Archives and Records Administration stated that all existing presidential libraries from our 31st President Herbert Hoover through our 43rd President George W. Bush, were constructed solely with privately-raised funds. The precedent is clear, and Illinois is not in a position to break tradition by offering to foot the bill.
"This isn't Monopoly Money that would be funding this project. It's real, hard-earned taxpayer money from the citizens of Illinois. Sometimes I wonder if the majority party forgets that they are dealing with actual dollars.
“Majority party leaders in Springfield are talking out of both sides of their mouths. They claim they must permanently extend the temporary tax increase of 2011 because the State is in dire financial trouble, and in the next breath they are advocating spending $100 million in taxpayer funds on the Obama library project. The state has $7.2 billion in unpaid bills and a $100 billion unfunded pension liability. While I support the construction of the Obama Presidential Library in Illinois, I cannot support spending taxpayer money on it. I’ll be voting no.”