Friday, May 2, 2008

Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area, Part 2


Remember Congressman Ray LaHood and Senator Dick Durbin's bill that promised to create a historical-geographic entity called the "Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area?"

When I covered the story last October, the proposed piece of legislation had passed the House, but had yet to make its way through the Senate. However, the story quickly fell off my radar. I heard nothing about its fate and assumed the Senate killed it.

Well, it’s back. I haven’t worked out all the particulars, but I think it went something like this. The Senate modified the bill and then passed it. The modified bill then went back to the House for consideration. After debating the changes, the bill passed the House last Tuesday by a vote of 291-117. Now, the legislation goes to the president, who is expected to sign it into law.

As a result, central Illinois could receive up to $30 million over the next 15 years to promote Lincoln’s legacy. The financial figures include $1million annually from the federal government, plus an additional $1 million per year from public and private sources on the state and local level.

Of course, I’ll continue to follow this story and pass along more information as it becomes available.

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