Illinois has the honor of claiming home to three United State’s Presidents. Illinois also has the dubious honor of having over $7 billion in unpaid bills, a woefully underfunded pension system, and a culture of taxing and spending at the state capitol bringing State Rep. Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) to the conclusion that we cannot afford a $100 million library in honor of President Barack Obama.
“We as lawmakers have an obligation to prioritize and responsibly allocate taxpayer money,” said Wheeler. “Being elected President of the United States is a great honor and should be remembered, but if we have an extra $100 million to spend, which we don’t, why not invest in our crumbling infrastructure? Why not invest in our underfunded pension system? Why not invest in education? Why not pay our bills?”
Illinois Democrats pulled an odd parliamentary maneuver when the House Executive Committee met at a subject matter only hearing, they voted to approve the $100 million library without any Republicans present. Due to no meeting posting, required by the Open Meetings Act, and no quorum being present for a vote to take place, Democrats used the previous meeting’s roll call to justify their actions. The Chairman of the committee, Daniel Burke (D-Chicago) then took a non-formal roll call and counted all Republicans present at the previous meeting voting in favor of the $100 million library.
“Now is not the time to play parliamentary games,” said Wheeler. “Whether they want to admit it or not, we are still in a fiscal crisis. We are still far behind in economic recovery; we are still well behind the rest of the nation in unemployment. We simply cannot afford an extra $100 million on a library.”
Should the parliamentarian of the House rule the proceedings proper, the House will be set to vote on the $100 million Barack Obama Presidential Library before adjournment on May 31st.