Lawmakers Fast-Track Bill On Obama Library, Lucas Museum

April 24, 2015
An architectural rendering of the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which may be built on Chicago's lakefront.

An architectural rendering of the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which may be built on Chicago's lakefront.

(Photo: LMNA Architecture Renderings / Lucas Museum of Narrative Art press kit)

The force of the Illinois legislature is behind bringing George Lucas's museum and Barack Obama's presidential library to Chicago.

When the legislature's leaders want something done, they can make it happen in rapid fashion.

The legislation follows a lawsuit filed by Friends of the Park seeking to bar construction of the Star Wars creator's Museum of Narrative Art on filled-in lakefront property.

The group says the city must have the state's approval because the proposed site, a parking lot, is still considered protected waterway.

A measure to ward off those legal problems that could prevent the Star Wars creator's museum and the President's library from being located in Chicago first popped up Wednesday evening.

Less than 24 hours later, it's on the way to the governor.

It's supposed to take at three days at minimum for that to happen.

But this measure had support from leaders like House Speaker Michael Madigan.

"Current and future generations deserve the opportunity to learn firsthand the impact of President Obama on Illinois as a member of the General Assembly, a United States Senator, our President and to also learn how our state had an impact on him," Madigan said.

Madigan says the measure clarifies a presidential library's an appropriate use for Chicago Park District land. It also removes the crux of a legal argument opponents of the Lucas museum are using in a lawsuit to keep it from landing on the city's lakefront.

Governor Bruce Rauner's office refused to comment when asked if he'll sign it into law, but in a potential signal of support, his key Republican allies voted for it.

President Obama is expected to announce where he'll locate his library and museum next month.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio