State Representatives Tim Butler (R-Springfield), Jerry Costello (D-Smithton), and Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) this week filed legislation to establish the Illinois State Fairgrounds Foundation. The purpose of the foundation would be to promote, support, assist, and sustain Illinois’ two fairgrounds located in Springfield and DuQuoin. The foundation would have the ability to bring in private funding to enhance the facilities and programs of both fairgrounds.
“This is a bipartisan effort to support institutions which have a long history in our state,” said Rep. Butler. “The foundation creates an avenue to bring in private dollars to support upgrading the infrastructure and activities at our state fairgrounds. I live just a few blocks from the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. I know first-hand the positive impact the fairgrounds have on our city throughout the year. I also realize there is much we can do to upgrade this facility to attract more activities to our area, and creating public-private partnerships just makes sense in our desire to better our fairgrounds.”
“With private partnerships that still maintain the integrity of prevailing wage and public works, we will make it easier to sustain the cherished traditions of both the Illinois State Fair and DuQuoin State Fair for generations to come,” Rep. Jerry Costello said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to create the Illinois State Fairgrounds Foundation while also working toward similar bipartisan solutions to strengthen our state’s fiscal situation.”
According to Rep. Bryant, “I have many fond memories attending the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds as most people do in Southern Illinois. The creation of a not-for-profit State Fairgrounds Foundation tasked with raising private funds to preserve and improve the fairgrounds will be beneficial to Illinois agriculture and the industries which depend on the grounds facilities. I look forward to advancing this legislation in the upcoming session.”
House Bill 4990 creates the Illinois State Fairgrounds Foundation Act under the authority of the Department of Agriculture. The Foundation would function as a not-for-profit and be overseen by a 12-member Board of Directors.