According to The Hill, the University of Utah and the Orrin Hatch Foundation have partnered together to pitch an idea of creating a center in honor of Orrin Hatch. Hatch was formerly a U.S. Senator until his retirement in January, and he was the longest-serving Republican senator.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Hatch's foundation asked for a donation of $2 million in taxpayer money from the Utah Legislature to help fund the creation of the center. A former chairwoman for the Utah Democratic Party, Meg Holbrook, reportedly helped to pitch the idea to the 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 Hill noted that Hatch's campaign account had about $900,000 remaining when he left office, which under federal law can be donated to his foundation.
The center would likely include a replica of Hatch’s office and has goals to raise $40 million.
“It’s just in its infancy; we’re starting,” Holbrook said while talking to lawmakers.
According to OpenSecrets, Hatch had an estimated net worth of $4,319,020 in 2015.