Pricey renovations at the Illinois Capitol Building continue to draw criticism considering the state's financial woes.
Some of the costly components of the state capitol building's face lift include $323,000 for four chandeliers, close to $670,000 for copper-covered wooden doors, and $160,000 for two sculptures.
"We're not in a position to be spending that kind of money," State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt Watkins (D-Chicago) said. "I'm just shocked anybody would spend that much on a chandelier."
The costly renovations are being paid for through the $31 billion capital construction program and is part of a project to get the National Historic Landmark to look as close to its original state as possible, according to the AP. Even still, lawmakers say the expensive renovations are making them look bad.
"These are public funds," said State Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Westchester), who has been tapped to replace State Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) to lead Illinois House Republicans. "The press corps and the Legislature have a right to know why these fixtures were purchased and whether or not there was a bidding process. I'm embarrassed to say this went on without anyone's knowledge that I'm aware of. And we have some egg on our face."
But House Speaker Michael Madigan's office says officials from the offices of all four of the Illinois General Assembly's legislative leaders were informed about the costly plan, which went through the typical bidding and procurement process.