Lincoln Library & Museum to be a separate state agency

Gov. Bruce Rauner is moving ahead with plans to make the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum a separate state agency.

Rauner will issue an executive order Friday making the ALPLM a standalone facility, an idea first floated three years ago by House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago.

Rauner's order will also place the remaining functions of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency under the Department of Natural Resources.

Alan Lowe will remain as director of the ALPLM.

Under the order, a new 11-member board of trustees will be appointed by Rauner to oversee the 12-year-old library and museum. The board will set policy for the facility and will make decisions about hiring future executive directors.

The separate IHPA board of trustees will be abolished when the agency is absorbed into DNR.

All current positions in both the ALPLM and IHPA will be retained, according to the governor's office. Read more.

Local Reps Respond:
Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, said the new arrangement should be a boost for the ALPLM.

"I think the current structure is too much bureaucracy for a museum that I think really can stand on its own merits," Butler said. "I think you kind of unshackle the museum by allowing it to go out on its own, be its own separate agency. This way you just really allow them to do their job."

Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, R-Leland Grove, said moving historic sites under DNR makes sense because that's the way other states handle it. She also said the Lincoln library and museum should get a boost from being an independent agency.

"There are a lot of people in the industry who are experts that believe this is a better route, especially in Springfield. It's such a gem and attraction for people from all over the world," she said. "I believe the experts when they say this is a move we should do."