Rep. Harms, GOP lawmakers object to 9-0 vote for Obama library
Republican lawmakers, including State Representative Josh Harms (Watseka) are protesting after an Illinois House committee recorded a 9-0 vote to commit $100 million for President Barack Obama's library and museum. That vote was even though the committee's four GOP members weren't there.
Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein says he didn't expect a vote during Thursday's hearing.
Sullivan says "the legacy of the Obama presidential library shouldn't be kicked off in a cloud of controversy."
Rep Josh Harms said the state can't even pay its bills for schools and maintaining roads. Harms said "the state has no business spending money on a presidential library that should be funded with private funds."
Lawmakers approved the money to sweeten Chicago's bid for the library.
Democrats used the roll call from a Wednesday hearing on gambling as the vote for the library. No one objected. A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan says if there's a problem the committee will reconvene and vote again.
A special meeting is planned later this month for Kankakee County government leaders. Reports state the county will not have enough money to pay all of its bills this month. The county checkbook will fall $774,973 short after paying salaries of county employees and meeting mandated pension payments.
As of Thursday, the county had about $2.5 million on hand but about $3.3 million in expenses, according to county figures.
The county board is planning a special meeting April 29 to approve $3 million in borrowing against future property tax revenues. The money will be borrowed through tax anticipation warrants slated to be issued on May 9.
Chicago environmental groups filed a lawsuit Thursday to stop the proposed $1.3 billion Illiana Expressway. The suit claims the Illinois Department of Transportation doesn't have authority to develop it. The expressway would be operated as a toll road.
The Environmental Law & Policy Center filed the suit in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of the Sierra Club and Openlands. It contends that the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's policy committee erred when it voted in October to include the tollway in its long-term development plan for the region, even though its own board of directors had already derided it as an expensive boondoggle and voted against it.
The lawsuit claims board approval is necessary under Illinois law, and IDOT cannot legally circumvent that.
GOP Lt. Governor candidate addresses Iroquois County GOP women
Evelyn Sanguinetti spoke about the need to attract the Hispanic vote. Addressing the Iroquois County Republican Women's Club in Watseka, Sanguinetti, the Republican Lt. Governor candidate for the November election, said getting the Hispanic voters is part of a movement that has to happen for the GOP.
Sanquinetti said the Hispanic population is all about faith and family, so we republicans need them on our side. It's a passion, she said, she continues to push.
The DuPage County running-mate of Bruce Rauner said another passion is the Republican women movement. She said in her opinion, women can carry a message once they're on a mission.
The Iroquois County Republican Women's Club hosted its Spring dinner Thursday night in Watseka.