Sun-Times exclusive: Gov. Rauner to sign Obama Library, Lucas Museum bill

SHARE Sun-Times exclusive: Gov. Rauner to sign Obama Library, Lucas Museum bill

WASHINGTON — Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday afternoon will sign the bill making it harder to legally challenge the construction of the Obama presidential library complex and the Lucas Museum.

“I am very excited about it. I look forward to signing it,” Rauner told the Sun-Times.

CONFIRMED: Obama library coming to Chicago

“I plan to sign it this afternoon as soon as I get back to Springfield,” he added. “The bill obviously makes it easier to get the Obama Library in Chicago. And I think the president’s library will be a very benefit to the state of Illinois and to the city of Chicago and I am very supportive of that.”

Likewise, he said, “I also think the Lucas museum will be a big benefit to the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago and I am supportive of that.”

Rauner said he never had any inclination not to sign the bill or use it to horse-trade to extract something from the Democrats who control both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly.

“This is just a good economic development for the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago.”

The legislation sprinted through the state House and Senate last week, pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel as a federal lawsuit is pending in Chicago against the museum for Star Wars film director George Lucas, to be built near Soldier Field.

The Chicago-based Barack Obama Foundation wanted to close any potential legal avenues to constructing the Obama library, museum and presidential center in either Washington Park or Jackson Park. The parks are close to the University of Chicago, which submitted the winning bid.

The Sun-Times first reported on April 14 that the Obama development would be on Chicago’s South Side. The official announcement is expected to be made in Chicago in a few weeks.

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