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Illinois Taypaxers Weigh-in On Obama Presidential Library Controversy

Updated: Monday, May 5 2014, 10:32 AM CDT

ILLINOIS -- It's been a hotbed of controversy this week.

A plan by state officials to offer 100 million dollars to help lure the Barack Obama Presidential Library to Chicago's South side.

This week - a house committee endorsed the plan.

Tonight , Illinois residents are speaking out about the proposal.

Many in Illinois take pride in the fact that the 44th president of the United States hails from Chicago.

"That's where he's from and that's where I'm from," said Jackqueline Hearns of Chicago.

That's why some lawmakers are trying to lure Barack Obama's Presidential Library to Illinois.

An Illinois house committee approved a plan to offer 100 million dollars as an incentive, but not all Illinois residents are ready to start emptying their pockets to pay for it.

"If you want to pay for it yourself, donors or whatever...that's fine, but I don't want to have to pay for it," said Rodger Watts of Athens.

With Illinois' on-going budget crisis, many we spoke with believe dishing out millions of dollars for a presidential library should not be the state's top priority.

"That money should go to things like pensions. I'm a state worker and I just feel that money shouldn't be allotted for the library. It's always been privately funded in the past," said Alan Suhling of Springfield.

With President Obama still in office, some say it's too soon to start talking about building a Barack Obama presidential library.

"It took 150 years to get Abraham Lincoln's Library and Museum. Why does the Obama library have to be built right away too," Suhling said.

"Personally I don't think he has much of a legacy to run on. Just today they only added 288,000 jobs but 800,.000 people left the workforce," Watts said.

Others believe 100 million dollars for a presidential library would be a wise investment.

"The museum itself would accomplish so much as far as inspiration and inspiring our young people to be proud and have high expectations of achievement," Hearns said.

Someone who's been very close to the president is Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.

After all, he claims he "hitched the wagons" to the Obama presidential campaign.

Tonight the Springfield Democrat is in Springfield.

When we sought out his thoughts on the matter, his handlers told us the senator would not be taking any questions today.

Senator Bill Brady introduced a plan this week that would allow taxpayers to donate a portion of their tax return toward the presidential library.

Brady's idea likely wouldn't get anywhere near as much funding for the library.

The most any tax return check-off has received in the past two years was $137,000.

Illinois Taypaxers Weigh-in On Obama Presidential Library Controversy


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