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Ill. shelving $100m gift to Obama library

There has been no decision on where to locate President Obama’s library.

Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

There has been no decision on where to locate President Obama’s library.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A plan to offer $100 million in tax dollars to lure Barack Obama’s presidential library to Illinois is on the shelf, as lawmakers wrapped up the spring session without advancing the idea.

Democrats in the president’s home state pushed the plan to compete with rival bids from Hawaii and New York. But it faced opposition from Republicans wary of an expensive and precedent-setting gift — with no immediately identified funding source — for a mostly private endeavor when the state faces financial difficulties.

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Not all Democrats were on board either. Both the Democratic-controlled House and Senate adjourned without calling for any final votes on the measure.

‘‘It wasn’t clear that a state monetary incentive was necessary for a successful [library] proposal,’’ said Rikeesha Phelon, a spokeswoman for Senate president John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat.

Sponsors of the measure vowed to continue their advocacy, but the initiative now must wait, despite a June 16 deadline for host proposals to Obama’s library commission.

The state’s House speaker, Michael Madigan, who doubles as state Democratic Party chief, had hoped the library plan would be in a multibillion-dollar replacement for a five-year statewide construction plan that is expiring.

But that larger bricks-and-mortar program also got no traction as lawmakers patched together a 2015 state budget without extending a temporary income tax increase, as Democrats had sought.

Obama was a community organizer in Chicago before he was elected to the Illinois and US Senates. He grew up in Hawaii and attended college in New York, spurring those states to compete for Obama’s legacy.

‘‘In order to show him we’re serious about wanting him in Illinois, we have to do the right thing,’’ said Illinois state Representative Monique Davis, a Chicago Democrat. ‘‘We must put forth some good-faith effort.’’

Even without approval of a capital plan, Davis wanted a vote before the House adjourned to send a supportive message ahead of the commission’s application deadline. She said she will continue pushing the idea this fall when lawmakers return to Springfield.

Republicans say they welcome the library and the tourists it would attract. But they pointed out that no library dedicated to a modern president received state or federal tax dollars — although Democrats point out public aid is often offered, such as donated land.

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