Quinn halts funding for future Capitol renovation - FOX 32 News Chicago

Quinn halts funding for future Capitol renovation after Daley slams him

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Governor Quinn says he's pulling the plug on the renovation of the State Capitol building in Springfield after complaints about nearly $700,000 being spent on some ornate copper doors.

The announcement comes after his democratic challenger, Bill Daley, said the copper doors fiasco proves Quinn has a tin ear when it comes to reckless spending.

"Come on, $700,000 for three doors at a time when we're bankrupt?" Daley says.

Call it the copper door caper. $670,000 in taxpayer dollars for three massive new engraved copper-plated doors, plus another $323,000 for four ornate chandeliers.

It's all part of a $50 million renovation of the State Capitol building in Springfield--and now Democratic challenger, Bill Daley--is trying to spin it into political gold.

"Under Governor Quinn, thousands of teachers have been laid off, health care has been cut, yet he somehow approves over $1 million for chandeliers and doors and waste," Daley said.

"I've said right from the start that this was excessive," Quinn told reporters. "We don't need to have the Palace of Versailles at our State Capitol."

Governor Pat Quinn, just off a plane from Japan where he was trying to drum up Illinois business, says the renovation money was approved by a legislative commission not under his control.

Quinn says he's ordered a halt to any more spending on the renovation.

"The moment I saw this, I told our budget director we're gonna hold off any further appropriation for Capitol renovation until they straighten things out and get that architect under control," Daley said.

But Daley says the governor should have been watching the spending in the first place.

"If I was governor and this broke, and I didn't know about it and my staff didn't tell me about it, all hell would break loose," he said.

"This is from a millionaire banker who was working for a bank," Quinn responded, speaking of Daley. "He was the Midwest chairman of a bank that helped drive the American economy into the ditch."

The primary election is still more than six months away. The order to halt spending on the renovation may be too late--most of the money has already been spent—but, it could impact other improvement projects down the road.

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