WASHINGTON (KFVS) - Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin introduced legislation honoring President Abraham Lincoln in Illinois. It was signed into law on March 12.
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 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 that this legislation Senator Durbin and I led is now law—it will not only honor his legacy, but create new opportunities throughout central Illinois.”
“Expanding the Lincoln National Heritage Area will give future generations of Illinoisans and visitors the chance to learn about President Lincoln’s lasting legacy in our great state,” said Durbin. “This bill will also support Illinois communities and help grow the local economy by increasing access to federal grants for preservation and education. I was proud to work with Senator Duckworth to pass this bill in the Senate and have it signed into law today.”
The legislation preserves 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.