Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin is crying foul over a Democratic move to designate $100 million in state funds for Barack Obama's presidential library and museum.
Durkin accused Democrats of using a procedural maneuver to secure the funds and advance plans for the library during a hearing in Chicago last week. Democrats control the legislative body.
"The Democrats who run the House of Representatives decided to change the format of the hearing, and proceeded with a vote without having any Republicans present," Durkin told CBS Chicago
. "What they did last week was underhanded and sneaky, and offers further proof that they no longer can be trusted with taxpayer money."
According to CBS Chicago, the chairman of the House Executive Committee called for a vote regarding the library last Thursday. Only five Democrats were present, but the chairman used the roll call from a meeting on Wednesday at which all nine members of the committee — five Democrats and four Republicans — were there. The vote on the library passed unanimously, 9-0.
"The state of Illinois is beyond broke," Durkin said. "We can't pay our bills. We're $7 billion behind paying state vendors. We have pension systems that are barely afloat. Who in the world thinks that the state of Illinois can afford that right now?
"To say that we are going to put $100 million aside in the hope that Illinois — and, specifically, Chicago — will be the recipient, or will be the designation of the Obama library, I believe it's inappropriate for that type of discussion at this time."
According to the story, House Speaker Michael Madigan said the money for the Obama library would come from state construction funds, not operating funds.
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