Illinois looks to surrounding states’ state fair foundations

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has suggested that a private foundation could help pay for $180 million in repairs and maintenance at the state’s two fairgrounds amid a state budget impasse.

States surrounding Illinois — like Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana — take many different approaches to fair foundations, including a mix of public and private funding. Their fundraising campaigns often focus on capital projects and rely on techniques from corndogs to decorative bricks to pay for the annual events.

Minnesota and Wisconsin are able to put on their fairs without the help of state funding.

The State Journal-Register reports that the proposal for a private foundation has stalled in the Illinois Legislature. It’s unclear whether a foundation could be set up without legislative approval.