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Responding to concerns over allegations that the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation paid millions for a stovepipe hat that may not have actually belonged to President Abraham Lincoln, State Senator and Legislative Audit Commission Co-Chair Jason Barickman and State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) are calling for an audit to review the financial relationship between the foundation and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM).

“The foundation is asking the state for millions of dollars to cover the purchase of artifacts, including the hat that has been heavily scrutinized,” said Sen. Barickman. “Before we can make a decision on that, we need to better understand the financial connection between the foundation and the ALPLM, as well as what agreements are in place governing purchases made by the foundation.”
"Even after the Illinois House hearing, many questions still remain about the relationship of the Foundation with the Presidential Museum and the money which has been raised for this state agency," said Representative Butler.  "This audit will hopefully shed light on the operations of the foundation and help us plan a path forward to the goal we all desire:  ensuring the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is a world-class institution."

Barickman and Butler said that an audit of how state funds were spent will shed light on whether taxpayer money was misspent or mismanaged. The process may help determine if the foundation bought the famed hat from a former member of the board for $6.5 million without first authenticating its true origin.

Millions of dollars in vital state funding is on the way for much-needed repairs at the State
Fairgrounds on Springfield’s North End, and other state facilities in the 87th Legislative District, State Representative Tim Butler announced today.

“This is great news for our area,” said Representative Butler. “All of our state facilities serve our families, and they are investments that we have made with taxpayer dollars. We absolutely cannot allow them to fall into disrepair.”

“The bipartisan Fiscal Year 19 budget I signed in June includes funds for critically necessary improvements at state facilities across Illinois,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “Every dollar we are investing in these projects helps state government deliver better service to the residents of Illinois.”

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner announced he has appointed Illinois Rep. Tim Butler to serve as co-chair of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission. Butler joins fellow co-chairs Gloria Castillo and Lori Healey.

“I would like to thank Gov. Rauner for this tremendous honor,” said Butler, R-Springfield. “For me, the Illinois Bicentennial is personal. I’m proud that my family’s roots extend to the very beginning of our state and I look forward to continuing the Bicentennial Commission’s work as we celebrate all that is Born, Built, and Grown in Illinois throughout 2018.”

Butler symbolizes the Bicentennial theme. A Peoria native, he is the great, great, great great-grandson of Lewis Barker, who was elected in 1818 as the state senator from Pope County and who served during the first four Illinois general assemblies. 

Butler is currently serving his second term and represents the same district Abraham Lincoln represented during his time in the Illinois House of Representatives.

“Tim wears his pride for his home state on his sleeve,” commented Stuart Layne, executive director of the Illinois Bicentennial Office. “He has been an incredible asset to the Bicentennial Commission, and he has enthusiastically worked to create a successful Bicentennial celebration.”
Illinois is getting ready to celebrate the 100th birthday of the most famous road in the world. Today, State Representative Tim Butler’s House Bill 66 was signed into law, creating the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission charged with planning the Mother Road’s centennial celebration.

"Route 66 begins right here in Illinois, and I am proud that our state will be leading the way to celebrate the centennial of this world-famous byway," said Representative Butler (R-Springfield). "The Mother Road's 100th birthday celebration will be an international event, and this commission will get us ready to welcome visitors from around the world who want to experience the magic of Route 66."

Representative Butler voted no on legislation that would allow law enforcement to utilize drone technology at large scale public events. Rep. Butler stressed that citizens' Constitutional rights must not be violated by crowd control/safety arrangements put in place for concerts and other large public events.

Rep. Butler on Thursday helped with House passage of legislation addressing the oldest unpaid bill in Illinois' bill backlog -  back pay owed to state AFSCME workers promised to them in a contract negotiated in 2011.