The terms of the original loan, for $23 million, dictated Lake Forest Bank & Trust Company be paid back in October 2019. After it stopped making significant payments and the state refused to contribute taxpayer dollars, the foundation threatened to sell pieces from the Taper Collection to raise the remaining funds.
But the foundation, a private organization formed in 2000 which retained ownership of the artifacts, now has until Oct. 31, 2022, to repay about $8.8 million it still owes, Nick Kalm, a foundation board vice chairman, said.
“In addition to giving us the flexibility to continue fundraising, this extension means the foundation no longer needs to consider auctioning off any of the artifacts to satisfy the debt,” Ray McCaskey, chair of the foundation’s board of directors, said in a news release. “Selling these unique artifacts was clearly something no one wanted to do. Now, this important collection will remain available to everyone who visits the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.”
Rep. Tim Butler, a Republican from Springfield, said it is “a good sign” the foundation was able to secure the new loan deadline, something he advocated for more than a year ago. The collection, he added, is “one of the crown jewels we own collectively as a state.”
FOOD STAMPS: The Trump administration is about to impose new regulations that would tighten eligibility rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, in a way state officials say could cut off benefits for an estimated 140,000 Illinoisans.