The state’s comptroller isn’t a fan of the idea of using public funds on the construction of the Obama presidential library. Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka believes the state has higher priorities than appropriating $100 million for the library, specifically pointing to the state’s bill backlog. “I mean, I still have over $5 billion worth of bills to pay,” Topinka said.
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“They don’t go away. So, you know, before we start looking at new things to do, we’ve got to take care of that. We just have to, and I’m gonna ride that horse into the sunset.” Topinka says she’s not entirely opposed to using some public funds on the library, but only once private fundraising efforts have been exhausted. Even then, she believes $100 million is too high of a price for the state. The proposal was introduced by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), but it has not been brought up for a floor vote. Hawaii and New York are also considering bids for the library.