The flap over Illinois House Republicans being recorded in absentia as Yes votes for a measure they opposed ended quietly. For the record, a measure committing $100 million to an Obama Presidential Library, if it is awarded to Chicago, passed on a party-line vote in a House committee Wednesday. The committee met for two days in Chicago earlier in April.
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Republicans attended only the first day, supposedly unaware there would be a vote on the Obama library. The committee used the original roll call from the day before to enter a 9-0 vote in favor of the measure.
The controlling Democrats agreed to scrub the record of that vote and today again heard testimony and voted. House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), the sponsor, suggested a new public works construction bill could come between now and the end of session; that could be the source of the money. Against that backdrop, Madigan said the state spending money on a building is not new.
However, any state spending money on a presidential library – or that library being subject to a competition of some sort, with Hawaii and New York also desiring the Obama center – is new.
H.B. 6010 has passed the House Executive Committee.