From Sen. Bill Brady

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Attorney general asked to investigate Thompson Center deal

[MARCH 20, 2004]  One of my Senate Republican colleagues has asked the attorney general to investigate the mortgage of the state-owned James R. Thompson Center in Chicago to a French bank.

"It just keeps getting worse," state Sen. Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton, said Thursday regarding the mortgage deal. "The Blagojevich administration is making the taxpayers of Illinois the victims of predatory lending. What else can you call it when the terms of a mortgage deal include a huge balloon payment, a prepayment penalty, a ‘first-priority' payment clause and a quit-claim deed signed at the closing?"

The attorney general is being asked to determine the legality of the $200 million borrowing deal, especially the administration's decision to ignore the Illinois Procurement Code and the fact that the legislation authorizing the borrowing failed to receive a three-fifths vote in the General Assembly.

Ironically, the bank has demanded that the general counsel for state Central Management Services -- and, if necessary, its outside counsel -- provide a legal opinion that the deal is authorized by law and valid. That's a question better answered by the attorney general.

The deal calls for the state to borrow $201.8 million from Societe Generale through a mortgage loan secured by the Thompson Center. The administration financed the $1.8 million closing costs instead of paying them upfront. So we have to pay that back over 10 years as well.

The deal requires the state to repay nearly $300 million -- $14 million per year for 10 years and a balloon payment of $148 million in 2014. The contract also includes a quitclaim deed to be signed at the time of closing, to allow for speedy foreclosure if the state doesn't make a payment.


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Brady speaks to Heyworth seventh-graders

I spoke to a great group of young people March 15 at Heyworth Junior High. A group of more than 70 seventh-graders talked with me about senatorial districts, the rights and responsibilities of voting, and taking the Constitution test.

These amazing young men and women also asked me a number of questions, such as the kind of bills I am currently sponsoring, the recent proposal by the governor to remove candy and pop machines in schools, the possibility of the state raising the driving age to 21, and the reasons I wanted to become a senator.

My thanks to them for being such a good audience and for taking such an interest in their state government.

Illinois treasurer offering economic opportunity workshops

Illinois Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka is sponsoring a series of Economic Opportunity Partnership Workshops at four central Illinois locations in May.

The workshop dates and locations are:

May 4, Quincy -- Oakley-Lindsay Center, Kent Hall, 300 Civic Center Plaza

May 5, Springfield -- Route 66 Hotel and Conference Center, Hall of States Room, 625 E. St. Joseph St.

May 7, Carlinville -- Holiday Inn, Portside, Midship & Starboard Rooms, Interstate 55 at Route 108, Exit 60

May 11, Urbana -- Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center, Salons D, E & F, 1001 Killarney St.

These are free workshops, but participants must be registered by April 19 to attend. For more information, contact the Office of State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, Attn.: Economic Opportunity Partnership Workshop, Division of Economic Opportunity, One West Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 814, Springfield, IL 62701.

[News release from  Sen. Bill Brady]

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