A Springfield area labor union has offered to fund the Christmas lights over the Statehouse. Last month the Illinois Secretary of State’s office said because of the budget impasse the non-essential lights put up for the holidays over the Capitol dome would be nixed for the year.
Since then, a couple of different fundraising attempts kicked off to provide the money necessary for the holiday lights. The Basic Crafts Council of Mid-Central Illinois offered to donate $7,300 to keep the tradition going. Secretary of State spokesman Henry Haupt says the estimated cost of the 12 stringers of lights is about $146 per day with additional costs for replacing broken bulbs and stringers. The estimate does not include the cost of salaried state electricians tasked with working on the lights.