Directors Disagree On Lincoln Museum And Preservation Agency Split

Apr 30, 2015

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum could become a separate state agency.
Credit ALPLM

While other agencies are bracing for budget cuts, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum could get everything it's asking for in next year's budget.

ALPLM could receive a boost of $2 million more than it's expected to spend in the current budget year, according to Gov. Bruce Rauner's spending proposal.

The director of the library and museum, Eileen Mackevich, says that money will help the agency increase paid visitors by 10 percent. It's also meant to help the museum establish itself as a new state agency, divorced from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

"We can, as a stand-alone agency, be not only more efficient, more lithe, more quick to move, but able to build the kinds of collaborations that will create this great research library," Mackevich said.

The chair of the Historic Preservation Agency, Sunny Fischer, says the existing structure works well as it is.

"This structure calls for IHPA to handle administrative work like accounting and human resources, while leaving the presidential library and museum free to focus on serving the public as it has done so well," Fischer said.

Fischer also thinks both agencies will do better without merging IHPA's functions into the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, as Rauner is proposing.