March 08, 2018

Duckworth-Durbin Bill to Expand the Lincoln National Heritage Area and Grow Economic Opportunity Advances in U.S. Senate


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) bill to honor the legacy of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and create economic opportunities for local community members working to preserve the historic site, including associated recreation, tourism and educational projects. The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area Amendment Act would expand the Lincoln National Heritage Area in central Illinois to include Livingston County, the city of Jonesboro in Union County and the city of Freeport in Stephenson County. The bill will now be up for consideration on the Senate floor.

“President Lincoln is a true American hero. As both a lawyer and a statesman, he stopped at nothing to protect our freedom and our democracy would not be what it is today without his leadership. I’m proud to introduce this bill to honor his legacy while also bringing new opportunities for economic growth to local communities across central Illinois,” said Duckworth.

"By expanding the Lincoln National Heritage Area, we can give more Illinois residents and visitors the chance to learn more about President Lincoln’s lasting legacy in our great state. This bill also supports local communities by letting them access federal grants for preservation, education, and economic growth. I’m pleased this bill has taken one more step to becoming law,” said Durbin.

The added counties to the Lincoln National Heritage Area are of special significance to President Lincoln’s personal and professional life. These areas are where Lincoln developed his legal career within the Eighth Judicial District. They are also home to the historic sites of the historic Lincoln-Douglas debates. The existing Lincoln National Heritage Area was established in 2008 and preserves the rich legacy of President Lincoln. The region includes 42 counties across central Illinois, stretching from the Indiana border to the Mississippi River, and is one of the largest heritage areas in the nation. The site generates approximately $260 million in economic impact, supports more than 3,000 jobs and generates $25.5 million in tax revenue.