CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Governor Bruce Rauner have not seen eye to eye on much, but the possible sale of the James R. Thompson Center seems to be a rare point of agreement.
WBBM’s Nancy Harty reports.
The democratic speaker ordered a house committee Friday morning to review the sale, lease or redevelopment of the state of Illinois building in The Loop.
Laurence Msall, head of a government budget analysis group called the Civic Federation, said this as a positive development.
“But we need to be clear, while this may be a positive step in the right direction, it’s very small step,” he said.
Msall said the roughly $220 million the sale is estimated to bring in would do little for the state’s $5 billion budget deficit.
“They should not rush to sell the building, just because they failed to maintain it and it’s expensive now because of short-term decisions,” he said.
Msall said the building is in “dire condition” because of the state’s failure to invest in maintenance. There’s some $326 million in repairs needed for the Helmut Jahn-designed, atrium-style glass structure.
Msall also said taxpayers have already contributed the equivalent of $400 million for the building, and there’s a chance the state gets about half of that back in any sale.