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House legislation was in works to erect $500,000 Denny Hastert statue

SPRINGFIELD — They say nothing ever dies in the Illinois General Assembly, but it’s a pretty good bet that HB4210 won’t resurrect anytime soon.

The legislation, proposed earlier this month by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, would have set aside $500,000 to erect a statue “commemorating former U.S. Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert.”

Hastert was accused Thursday in a federal indictment of agreeing to pay an unnamed individual $3.5 million to cover up past misconduct then lied about it to the FBI.

But it wasn’t the charges that scuttled the plan.

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said Thursday it was Hastert himself who put a stop to a monument built in his honor.

“Hastert made contact with our office over a month ago, said he appreciated the recognition, but asked that we defer given the state’s fiscal condition,” Brown said.

The original proposal had called for authorizing the expenditure in July.