Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) recently introduced legislation that would create a privately-funded Illinois State Fairgrounds Foundation to aid funding for the state fairgrounds facilities in Springfield and DuQuoin.
The legislation (Senate Bill 2903) would allow the State Fairgrounds to be financed by donations and contributions from citizens and businesses, rather than relying solely on taxpayer funding for needed improvements. Brady said the Illinois State Fairgrounds are a tremendous asset to the state of Illinois, and lawmakers need to ensure resources are available to maintain the fairgrounds at a high level.
“The state fairgrounds are vitally important to local communities and to the entire state of Illinois,” he said. “Creating a private foundation enables private citizens and businesses to donate money that will directly go to improving and maintaining the grounds so that we can ensure the sustainability of the fairgrounds while reducing the burden on Illinois taxpayers.”
Brady also noted that enabling private funding will allow additional taxpayer funds to go towards other state programs.
“With Illinois in a precarious financial situation, we need to do everything we can to spend taxpayer dollars as efficiently as possible,” he said.
The bipartisan proposal has received support from Governor Bruce Rauner.
Earlier this week Governor Rauner said that with a foundation, “we can improve the fairgrounds, enhance the fair experience and use it as a showcase for agriculture and the entire state.”