Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner plans to sign legislation Friday meant to help the city of Chicago fend off legal battles against efforts to build the Obama presidential library on park land and the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on the city's lakefront.
News broke Thursday that Chicago has likely landed the Obama library, though an official announcement on the winning bid for the attraction has not yet been made.
The bill under consideration by Rauner would give the city of Chicago the ability to build museums and "presidential libraries" on park land or "formerly submerged lands" so long as it allows the public to reach the space "in a manner consistent with its access to other public parks."
"I am very excited about it. I look forward to signing it," the governor said in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times.
"I plan to sign it this afternoon as soon as I get back to Springfield," Rauner continued. "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."
The governor added, "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."
In November, the Friends of the Parks group filed a lawsuit against the city of Chicago and Chicago Park District, arguing that the allocation of lakefront land to the Lucas museum is a violation of public trust.