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It’s just a bill

Thursday, May 23, 2019

* Current state law requires the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the embattled Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation to cooperate. A bill sponsored by Sen. Andy Manar sailed out of the Senate Executive Committee yesterday without debate. The proposal (SB731) would, in part, set the terms of that official cooperation

(a) an authorization by the Agency for the Foundation to operate, directly or through subcontractors, food service, catering service, and retail activities at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum with the net proceeds being made available by the Foundation to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum;

(b) a requirement that the Foundation annually provide to the Office of the Governor and the General Assembly the following:

    (1) any audit of the Foundation’s financial statements performed by an independent auditor;

    (2) the most recent Form 990 federal tax return filed by the Foundation with the Internal Revenue Service; and

    (3) an annual report including income and expenditures of funds raised as a result of the Foundation’s operation, directly or through subcontractors, for food service, catering service, and retail activities at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum;

And then there’s this

the establishment of a working group with 6 members, composed of 3 members of the Board and 3 members of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, with such members appointed by the respective chair of each board, together with the State Historian. The working group shall collaborate to advance the interests of the Agency and, as an initial responsibility, shall develop an official mission statement for the Agency which shall be presented to the Board and the Board of Directors of the Foundation for adoption and which shall serve to align and guide the efforts of both the Agency and the Foundation. Except for the State Historian, ex officio members of either board are not eligible to be appointed as members of the working group. The working group shall meet at least once each quarter and shall be chaired by the State Historian. The Foundation shall provide staff support to the working group to maintain attendance and other necessary records of the working group.

Manar has been working with the governor’s office on the proposal.


* House Majority Leader Greg Harris…

Today our bipartisan Medicaid working group puts the finishing touches on sweeping omnibus reform package to fix the…

Posted by Greg Harris on Thursday, May 23, 2019

* Lots of late-session proposals out there have no publicly available language to peruse, including this one

The developer proposing to build the One Central megaproject on air rights just west of Soldier Field is dangling a powerful political pitch as his request to get billions of state subsidies nears a final decision in Springfield—and he wants lawmakers to decide in the next 10 days whether they’ll get behind his plan.

The offer: help for Gov. J.B. Pritzker in paying billions in pension bills, and help for Mayor Lori Lightfoot in opening up transit-short South Side neighborhoods to economic growth. […]

The language of Dunn’s legislation has not yet been disclosed. Springfield insiders say his measure, which would authorize the state to make an equity investment but still apparently require negotiation of a specific contract, stands a fair chance of passing before the Legislature’s scheduled May 30 adjournment—either as a separate bill or, more likely, as a clause in other legislation, such as a pending big capital bill.

* Sun-Times

With just over a week to go in the spring legislative session, Chicago Federation of Labor President Bob Reiter is beating the drum for a plan to demolish the above-ground portion of Lakeside Center, the oldest McCormick Place building, and replace the lost convention space with a new building over Martin Luther King Drive.

Insiders said the partial teardown of Lakeside Center could result in additional parkland along the lakefront and that below-ground portions of the building, such as the Arie Crown Theater, could still be preserved. […]

“It would take down the Lakeside Center above ground. It would replace that space by building a bridge building over Martin Luther King Drive. It would also make all of the space more together, instead of spread out as it is,” Reiter said Wednesday.

“When President Obama came in, you park in the west building, walk to the north building, go through security, then walk all the way to the lake to go into the event at the Lakeside Center. You would bring all of that into a tighter area and it would also make it more marketable for bigger shows that would rather have their space fit into a tighter footprint.” […]

The expansion would be paid for, in part, by imposing a fee on ride-hailing trips. The precise amount is still being negotiated, but the text of the measure, HB2693, sets it at $1 per ride covering trips in the McCormick Place area and the city’s airports.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    Looks like Manar is attempting to bring some sunshine to the foundation’s murky and rather entitled relationship with the library and museum.

    Long overdue.

  2. - Touré's Latte - Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 2:10 pm:

    So, a $1 each way tax on Uber/Lyft/cabs.

  3. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 2:14 pm:

    Items B1 and B2 are already most likely being provided to the AG’s office as part of the Foundation’s annual IL-990 filing, so they don’t really add anything.

  4. - ILPundit - Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 2:20 pm:

    Manar isn’t requiring the foundation to open the books any more than is already required. I can’t get nearly all that information off of Guide Star.

    Also, he went from earlier amendments to get rid of the the Director of the Foundation, to a bill that kneecaps the Director of the Library and Museum (who has directed 2 other Presidential Libraries)

    Used to have more respect for Andy, but it looks like he sold out here.

  5. - Patch Democrat - Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    Just so I understand:

    Foundation overpays for a fake Lincoln Hat
    Foundation comes to state looking for money
    Rather than give money, state (Sen Manar) wants to give financial control over large portions of a state facility to same Foundation, outside of normal state procurement and oversight laws.

    Seems that Sen. Manar is learning the Illinois game well

  6. - Can - Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 2:27 pm:

    Let me get this straight. The Foundation that took on $25 million in debt to buy a collection (from a foundation board member at the time no less). This foundation still owes $9 million because they can’t raise a nickel, even though they’re raising money for one of the most beloved presidents in history. This foundation is the gang that can’t shoot straight.

    So what are we doing in this bill? Giving this foundation MORE power? No thanks. I encourage everyone to vote no.

  7. - ILPundit - Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 2:28 pm:

    Typo: You “can” get all that information from Guide Star

  8. - Steve Rogers - Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 2:28 pm:

    Maybe in addition to the 3 ALPLM Board and 3 Foundation Board members, there should be a couple other appointments for people who aren’t affiliated with either entity. The working group might get some good ideas from some non-insular working group members.

  9. - 100 miles wedt - Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 2:33 pm:

    Why are we trying to “re-set” a relationship with a foundation that started with a sweet insider deal for a collection that featured a fake hat, and then refuses to open their books to determine how they are raising money, and how they are using the money they raise?

  10. - Kitty Kurth - Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    The Library’s job is to have an amazing archive, cool musuem and put on great programs. They are doing it. The Foundation’s job is to raise money to support the Library. The are not doing it.

  11. - Kevin Lampe - Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 2:41 pm:

    The current Foundation board has lost its way. Stick to raising money and stop driving the Library deeper in to debt.

  12. - Can - Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 2:49 pm:

    And while we’re at it, let’s not forget that the Foundation started a GoFundMe campaign about a year ago to save the collection. Their goal was $9.7 million. They’ve raised $34,724. Embarrassing.

  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 3:59 pm:

    Maybe they should bring back Betsy Londrigan to raise money for them.

  14. - Chicago 20 - Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 5:31 pm:

    In 2017 the State of Illinois raised the MPEA bonding authority $293 million. That bond sale increased the MPEA debt by $1.66 billion due to the MPEA additionally refinancing and extending out the repayment schedule, again
    The expansion ploy is just a red herring for the MPEA.
    This gives them a backhanded way to increase their bonding authority but more importantly to refinance and extend their debt service.
    The MPEA reform legislation currently prohibits the MPEA from profiting on services at MPEA facilities yet the MPEA is now cheating a little by charging private contractors “right of Entry” fees.
    Without additional millions in revenue the MPEA will soon default on its current debt service obligations.
    In 2017 the Chicago Sun Times reported that the City of Chicago was making about $75 million on ride hailing taxes and fees.
    WBEZ now reports that Lyft and Uber pay the City of Chicago $5.72 per ride.
    That equates to be 13,111,888.10 rides.
    The MPEA bond debt service has a projected shortfall of $42,478,000 this fiscal year and then ramps up to a shortage of $193,027,250 a year in 2057.
    With a $1 per ride Uber tax the MPEA will still have a $30 million bond debt service shortage this fiscal year and increasing to about $180 million a year by 2057.
    Even without any new MPEA building expansion this tax increase won’t pay for the existing bond debt, let alone any expansion.
    This tax increase also doesn’t address the current MPEA operational deficit of $1.8 billion.
    The MPEA annual report showed $95,346,000 of revenue in FY 2009 from the Use of Exhibition Facilities during the Great Recession.
    Then came the MPEA reforms and 14 trade shows left McCormick Place.
    The MPEA annual report now shows $48,097,000 of revenue in FY 2018 from the Use of Exhibition Facilities during the longest Bull market in history.
    MPEA Use of Exhibition Facilities revenue has dropped 50% and is heading for default and now they say that they want to expand their floor space and increase their debt load.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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