The Illinois General Assembly has passed a measure that would allow the Chicago Park District to issue $128 million of general obligation bonds to finance improvements to city museums and cultural institutions, according to Hugo Alunni, the park district's superintendent of finance.

Alunni said that the debt would be divided into four issues over the next decade if Gov. Jim Edgar signs the measure. He said that the first issue, a $36 million offering, is scheduled for next spring. The park district's board of commissioners would be required to approve each issue.

Meanwhile, Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago has selected Forrest Claypool to replace Robert Penn, who resigned last week as the park district's general superintendent. Claypool is currently Illinois' deputy treasurer and was formerly Daley's chief of staff.

The park district's board of commissioners is expected to vote on Claypool's appointment today. Board president John Rogers supports the appointment.

A park district official said that Penn resigned because he wanted to seek other opportunities. However, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Penn decided to leave after enduring months of criticism from the mayor and speculation about his successor.

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