Gov. Rauner says Illinois fairground repairs could be paid for by private donors

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says private donors could help pay for repairs to the state’s fairgrounds.

A bipartisan measure sponsored by Republican state Rep. Tim Butler would allow private donors to fund repair projects at the Springfield and DuQuoin fairgrounds. Roofing, electrical and other upgrades at the two locations could cost more than $180 million. Meanwhile the state is amid a budget impasse.

“The Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairs are vitally important to our agriculture community and the local economies of both cities. By creating a private foundation, companies and citizens will be able to donate directly to the fair to help maintain the grounds without any additional burden on the state,” said Rauner.

Rauner will discuss Butler’s plan at the DuQuoin Fairgrounds on Wednesday.

Rauner said Tuesday at the Springfield Fairgrounds that transferring the state’s burden to donors would allow more public money to go to human services and schools.

The budget stalemate also has incited efforts by lawmakers to help pay for homeless shelters and the Illinois State Museum with public money.

Related: Click here to read more about the Illinois Budget Crisis