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Rauner backs state helping to pay for Obama Center road work in Jackson Park

Bruce Rauner on steps of Supreme Court

Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks to reporters in front of the U.S. Supreme Court after a hearing in February in the case of Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Gov. Bruce Rauner said on Monday he supports the state helping to finance some of the $175 million needed to rework roadways in and around the future Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park.

Last Friday, Chicago’s City Hall for the first time put a price tag on the work and identified as a potential funding source the state of Illinois.

The Chicago Sun-Times asked Rauner if he would support the state assistance. The Democratic Illinois legislative leaders — House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton — are in favor of the state bankrolling a big chunk of the infrastructure costs.

Rauner said it is an “honor” for the city of Chicago and Illinois to have the Obama Center “and I look forward to working together with the Illinois General Assembly to come up with the resources so we can put in the infrastructure around it to support it.”

“. . . I won’t speculate on the dollars at this point. I’ll say I look forward to working together to develop the infrastructure needed for that center because I think it is going to be a wonderful asset for the people of Illinois, a great tourist draw, a great economic engine.”

The Obama Foundation will hold a public meeting on Tuesday at McCormick Place to discuss Obama Center plans — with the proposed closing of Cornell Drive in Jackson Park sparking community outcry.