Crain's Chicago Business has the story:
Illinois Speaker Michael Madigan Cost Taxpayers up to $500 Million in Higher McCormick Place Debt Payments
Crain’s Chicago Business investigation reports how politics put Chicago’s $8 billion trade show industry at risk.
Chicago, Illinois – Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan cost taxpayers nearly a half billion dollars by blocking repeated efforts that would have restructured McCormick Place bonds and financed a much-needed second hotel at the convention center, aCrain’s Chicago Business investigation finds.
Denied refinancing for six years, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (McPier) paid out as much as $300 million more in bond interest than it should have and was forced to tap state sales tax revenue to meet its obligations. Without revenue from debt savings and a second hotel, officials at McPier increased prices, leading to two major show pullouts and threats by several others to leave; a protracted fight with labor leaders over union rules; and the ongoing efforts to address McPier’s bloated payroll and high costs to exhibitors.