CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker will spend $850,000 of his own money for continuing renovations to the historic Illinois Governor’s Mansion, a move that comes after the billionaire businessman has already spent millions of dollars to cover government costs and renovations to other state buildings.
The Springfield estate built in 1855 will be closed for tours until Nov. 23 due to the latest overhauls, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The renovations include fixing tile on the first floor, remodeling guest rooms and modernizing current plumbing.
An analysis by the newspaper showed that Pritzker, a Democrat, has used at least $3.45 million of his own money to cover government costs that include doubling some salaries and other renovations. He spent $275,000 to rehab his office in the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago, according to the governor’s office. He also spent $100,000 to renovate the governor’s downstate home in Du Quoin.
Pritzker’s most recent face-lift to the mansion comes after a multimillion-dollar makeover was done by his political rival in 2018.
Former Gov. Bruce Rauner launched his own privately funded $15 million renovation of the mansion, spearheading a fundraising campaign that began in early 2015. The mansion, considered one of the nation’s oldest continuously occupied governor’s residences, reopened in July 2018 near the end of the Republican’s tenure.
Last year, Pritzker broke campaign finance records by giving his own campaign $171.5 million. Campaign finance reports indicate he spent about $12.2 million to compensate his staff.
Pritzker is the wealthiest sitting politician in the U.S., worth an estimated $3.2 billion, according to Forbes. That number tops President Donald Trump, who is worth an estimated $3.1 billion.