* Press release…
Last Friday, Illinois Senator and Conservative Party gubernatorial candidate Sam McCann filed legislation to undo a $180 million grant from Illinois’ Road Fund supporting the Obama Presidential Library, committing the money instead to road and bridge repairs in downstate Illinois. The grant was part of the budget reached in June.
McCann issued the following statement:
Today, I am calling on my fellow legislators to join me in making the fiscally responsible decision to put this $180 million back in our Road Fund.
Illinois hasn’t had a comprehensive capital bill since 2010 and the American Society of Civil Engineers gave our roads a “D” grade last year. If we cannot provide Central and Southern Illinois with safe and efficient roads, we cannot afford to pump money into high-profile luxury projects.
Citizens in Central and Southern Illinois are counting on us to make sure that their tax dollars make a positive difference in their lives, and that is what this bill will do. It also sends an important message that we will support economic development efforts throughout the entire State of Illinois.
* Greg Hinz…
Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker aren’t commenting on the move. But Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office had plenty to say, asserting that the state is doing for Chicago only what it did for Springfield when it helped the Lincoln Library with more than $220 million in subsidies—so far.
“The Illinois Legislature recognizes the significant benefits created by presidential centers,” said a city spokeswoman. “This expenditure is critical to the development of the Obama Presidential Center, and we consider it to be a settled matter.”
Did I mention that McCann’s district happens to include Springfield?
Anyhow, McCann has been far downstate and unavailable for comment today on questions like whether a Lincoln Library is better than an Obama Center.
This isn’t a bad move for McCann, politically speaking. The governor signed the budget and agreed to the Obama expenditure. The House and Senate Republican leaders also agreed to spending that state money.
So, McCann gets a free shot at Obama-hating Republicans. But, it’s just a press release. Not many will really read or hear about it unless he can raise enough money to tout his position on the airwaves.
But we can still chat about it.
* And while we’re at it, this is from WICS TV…
The Executive Director at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Alan Lowe, joins us in the studio to talk about the ALPLM’s backpack drive.
The District 186 Backpack Drive started July 1st and will end July 31st and is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Free museum admission is included with every donation.
There are a few ways you can donate.
First, by dropping them off at the museum, off of Sixth Street, or at the Real Estate Group on Wabash, or right here at our WICS/FOX station.
On July 27, we’ll be hosting a live grab-n-go backpack drop-off right in front of the museum.