Rep. Mitchell: No taxpayer funds for Obama Library

With the State of Illinois owing $15 billion in unpaid bills, a Central Illinois lawmaker is reiterating his opposition to the use of taxpayer funds for the Obama Presidential Library in Chicago.

State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) is urging fellow lawmakers to not spend State funds on the Library.

“My message is simple: just say no to taxpayer funds for the Obama Library,” Mitchell said. “Illinois is still dealing with the fallout from two years without a budget, which directly led to the $15 billion backlog of unpaid bills. Yet once again, Speaker Madigan is pushing to spend $100 million in State funds on the Obama Library. This is an outrageous waste of taxpayer dollars which should be rejected by the legislature.”

NBC Chicago reported this week that House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) proposed spending $100 million in capital funds for the Obama Presidential Library during a recent legislative leaders meeting. Republicans believe the proposal may take money earmarked for IDOT construction projects to help fund the library.

“The Speaker’s latest proposal is even worse than usual,” Mitchell added. “Not only does Speaker Madigan want to spend our tax dollars on the Obama Library, but he wants to take that money away from projects to fix our crumbling roads and infrastructure. This is just another crony deal that benefits political insiders at the expense of hard-working taxpayers.”

In 2014, Rep. Mitchell sponsored House Resolution 1118 in opposition to a proposal that would spend $100 million in taxpayer funds to help build the Obama Library in Chicago.

Representative Mitchell believes private funds should be used to build the library.

“Presidents Clinton and Bush used private donations to build their libraries,” Mitchell said. “President Obama has proven himself to be a prolific fundraiser over the years. Let his foundation raise the money needed to build the Obama Library in Chicago. I am adamantly opposed to using taxpayer funds for this project, especially at a time when Illinois can’t pay its bills.”

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