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Lincoln Home Would Be Closed By Federal Shutdown

Lincoln Home
Brian Mackey/WUIS

The historic home of Abraham Lincoln in Springfield would be among the victims of a federal shutdown Monday night.

During a shutdown, the federal government makes all kinds of decisions about what's considered an essential government function.

Air traffic control and National Weather Service forecasts are essential. National parks are not. Which is why the Lincoln Home National Historic Site is on the block.

Site superintendent Dale Phillips says about 30 employees will be set home without pay.

"The visitors center will be closed, there'll be no tours of the Lincoln home, the parking lots will be closed," he says. "A very, very small number of employees — who are primarily law enforcement, visitor protection — they will remain on duty in a non-pay status, basically to see to it that the resource is protected."

This comes as the park has already seen its budget reduced by about 25 percent in recent years. The park has been open seven days a week save Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. But Phillips says the lack of funding means that could have to change.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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