Orrin Hatch Foundation seeking $2 million in taxpayer money to fund new center in his honor
The Orrin Hatch Foundation is reportedly asking the Utah Legislature to donate $2 million in taxpayer money to a new center made in the Republican’s honor.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the center is partnering with the University of Utah for the effort, which has been pitched towards being an archive for the former senator in addition to a place of training for future political leaders.
Meg Holbrook, who served as chairwoman of the Utah Democratic Party and is now a top executive at Zions Bank, reportedly pitched the concept to the Legislature’s Business, Economic Development, and Labor Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday.
“Its overall goal is to, one, store [Hatch’s] papers, which are invaluable,” she said, according to the local paper.
Holbrook also added that “No. 2” is that the center will provide “programming that people can learn from his papers, and there are reams and reams of papers from him. Also, Senator Hatch will be on the ground for a lot of things to help instruct people on political things. That’s the overall high-level thing.”
The center, which Holbrook said would include a replica of Hatch’s office, is working to raise $40 million for the center initially. The foundation previously sought private funds for the initiative, according to the paper.
“It’s just in its infancy; we’re starting,” Holbrook said while talking to lawmakers.
According to the paper, Hatch’s campaign account also had roughly $900,000 left when he stepped down from office this year. The funds could also reportedly be donated to his foundation, which is classified as a nonprofit, under federal law.
Hatch retired from the Senate last month. He was the longest-serving Republican senator after 42 years in the chamber.