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Illinois Shelves Obama Library Bid



A plan to offer $100 million in tax dollars to lure Barack Obama's presidential library to Illinois is on the shelf, as lawmakers wrapped up their spring session without advancing the idea.

Democrats in the president's home state pushed the proposal to compete against rival bids from Hawaii and New York.

But it faced opposition from Republicans wary of an expensive and precedent-setting gift - with no immediately identified funding source - for a mostly private endeavor when the state faces serious financial difficulties.

Not all Democrats were on board either. Both the Democratic-controlled House and Senate adjourned without calling for any final votes on the measure.

"It wasn't clear that a state monetary incentive was necessary for a successful (library) proposal," said Rikeesha Phelon, a spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat.

Sponsors of the measure vowed to continue their advocacy, but the initiative now must wait despite a June 16 deadline for host proposals to Obama's library commission. 

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