Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library could become an independent state agency

May 27, 2014

An Illinois House panel has approved a proposal to make the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum an independent state agency. House Speaker Michael Madigan is sponsoring the measure, and says he's "spent a little time studying the issue."

"You know I'm not intimately involved in the operations of the library and the museum. But I know a little bit about it, and I've come to the view that everything would be better served if this were a free-standing agency with an independent board subject to Senate conformation," says Madigan.

Currently the institution has only an advisory board. The chairman of that group says he and his colleagues have little say in the operation of the library and museum. He says the library in particular has been plagued by staff shortages.

The legislation would remove the museum from the control of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and make it an independent entity within state government.