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Separate agency for Lincoln library advances

Published: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 12:01 a.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD – The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum would stand alone as an independent state agency under a proposal approved by a House panel.

The Executive Committee voted 10-1 to advance legislation by Chicago Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan to split the facility off from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

Steven Beckett is chairman of the advisory board for the library and museum. He told lawmakers the board is hamstrung because decisions about the world-renowned institution must be approved by the Historic Preservation Agency board – which must balance needs of the library with its other historic sites and programs.

Madigan says the advisory board would run the Lincoln institution and choose the executive director – a task now reserved for the governor.

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