December 06, 2021

Duckworth, Durbin Introduce Bill to Reauthorize the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area Reauthorization Act, which would authorize the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area (ALNHA) until 2038, an additional 15 years past the current expiration date of 2023. The bill would allow Illinoisans and Americans to visit and learn more about the historical and cultural impact of the ALNHA and Lincoln’s legacy for years to come. 

“President Lincoln is a true American hero who expanded liberty and freedom for many and worked tirelessly to steer our country through one of our most challenging times. Our democracy would not be what it is today without his leadership,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud to join Senator Durbin introducing this bill to continue to honor the legacy of President Lincoln while bringing more opportunities for economic growth to communities across central Illinois.”

“As a resident of Springfield and the Land of Lincoln, I firmly believe that we must continue to preserve the history of the Abraham Lincoln Heritage Area and its namesake. With such a rich story, the ALNHA has much to teach future generations about the life and legacy of President Lincoln during one of the most consequential times in our nation’s history. I’m proud to offer my support to ensuring the ALNHA has access to the funds it needs,” said Durbin.

Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL-18) has introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

In 2008, Durbin was instrumental in establishing the ALNHA to promote Lincoln heritage and preservation in Central Illinois. The ALNHA covers 43 counties and includes more than 300 historic sites and five scenic byways.

In 2019, the Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation introduced by Duckworth and Durbin that expanded the Lincoln National Heritage Area in Illinois to include Livingston County, the city of Jonesboro in Union County, and the city of Freeport in Stephenson County. The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area Amendment Act passed the Senate as part of the Natural Resources Management Act.