* The effort by House Speaker Michael Madigan to rehabilitate his public image after years of negative media coverage appears to be continuing. From a press release…
Hoping to secure a second presidential library for Illinois, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and State Rep. Monique D. Davis on Monday introduced legislation to devote $100 million in state capital funding toward the presidential library and museum of President Barack Obama.
“Illinois has a long and proud tradition as the birthplace or home of some of our country’s most influential commanders-in-chief, from Lincoln and Grant to Reagan and Obama,” Madigan said. “We hope President Obama selects his adopted home state of Illinois to be the location of his presidential library, which will be a lasting testament to his contributions and leadership as an Illinois state senator, U.S. senator and president of the United States. It’s important that we make a strong financial commitment to honor the legacy of one of Illinois’ favorite sons and the first African-American president of the United States.”
According to the National Archives, the president selects the location of his presidential library with advice from the Archivist of the United States. A number of proposals may be submitted by various interested locations.
According to Politico, among the interested locations are the University of Chicago, which is close to Obama’s Hyde Park home and where he taught constitutional law; the University of Illinois at Chicago; Chicago State University; Columbia University in New York City, where Obama received his undergraduate degree in 1983; and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where Obama’s parents met. While three Illinois sites are seeking to land the presidential library and museum, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief-of-staff, said in January that he wants the city to make a single proposal for one location.
“Chicago is a world-class city and the ideal location to build a lasting tribute to President Obama’s achievements,” Madigan said. “Chicago is where the president got his start in public service as a community organizer and as a state senator. Housing his library and museum in the city and state where his impressive career took root is the right thing to do.”
The reported target date for selecting the site of President Obama’s library and museum is early 2015.
If you’ll recall, Madigan derisively referred to Obama as “The Messiah” several years ago.
* Leader Durkin isn’t ready to sign on…
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin says if Illinois could get back to rosier budget days, he’d give the idea consideration.
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.
* So, what about the money?…
Steve Brown, a spokesman for the speaker, said a time frame on how the money would be appropriated has not been set, noting the state “will need a new capital plan to accommodate programs like this one.”
The last capital construction program, passed by the Legislature in 2009, funded $31 billion in projects around the state, through approving video gambling and taxing liquor, soft drinks and candy, and increasing driver’s license fees.
Headline is explained here.