SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today outlined his budget plan for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) and it includes funding to open and staff the much anticipated Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The new complex under construction in downtown Springfield will honor the legacy of Illinois favorite son and the Nation's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. The proposed budget will further help IHPA achieve its' goal to save and share Illinois' past, demonstrate its' relevance in the present and provide direction for the future.
The FY05 General Revenue Fund budget proposal for IHPA is $13.3 million, a slight decrease from FY 2004's appropriation of $13.7 million. The budget plan includes a lump sum appropriation of $7.7 million for 71 additional staff positions and operational expenses needed for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
"The Presidential Library and Museum will be a world-class destination for both scholars and tourists," said IHPA Director Maynard Crossland. "This budget will allow us to fill key positions within the complex."
The library portion of the project is scheduled to open this summer. The museum portion will open in 2005.
The FY 2005 budget proposal also includes $170,500 to allow IHPA to provide architectural design assistance for the Illinois Main Street program, a highly successful downtown revitalization initiative. IHPA has provided limited design assistance for Main Street communities to help them utilize historic downtown buildings for modern uses, and this new funding would increase the number of municipalities that could benefit from this vital economic development initiative.
"The Main Street program is grassroots historic preservation at its best," said Director Crossland. "It helps communities save their heritage and breathe new life into historic downtowns. We are pleased that the proposed budget would allow us to give these cities even more assistance."