Lawmakers reintroduce bill to expand Lincoln National Heritage Area including Jonesboro, IL

Lawmakers reintroduce bill to expand Lincoln National Heritage Area including Jonesboro, IL
The bill expands the Lincoln National Heritage Area in central Illinois to include the city of Jonesboro, IL (Source: KFVS)

WASHINGTON (KFVS) - Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin have reintroduced legislation honoring President Abraham Lincoln in Illinois.

The bill expands the Lincoln National Heritage Area in central Illinois to include the city of Jonesboro in Union County, Livingston County, and the city of Freeport in Stephenson County.

These are where Lincoln worked in his legal career within the Eighth Judicial District and are home to the sites of the historic Lincoln-Douglas debates.

“President Lincoln is a true American hero who expanded liberty and freedom for many and worked tirelessly to keep our country intact through one of our most challenging times. Our democracy would not be what it is today without his leadership,” said Sen. Duckworth. “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.”

“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,” said Sen. Durbin. “This bill also supports local communities by letting them access federal grants for preservation, education, and economic growth.”

The legislation would preserve historic sites and create new recreation, tourism and educational projects. Lawmakers say the Area generates around $260 million and supports more than 3,000 jobs while generating $25.5 million in tax revenue.

The Heritage Area region includes 42 counties from the Indiana border to the Mississippi River.

The legislation passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee after a hearing in 2018.

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