SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The caretakers of Abraham Lincoln's tomb are on the defensive over an unflattering critique in National Geographic magazine and looming state budget cuts that could threaten management and maintenance of the Civil War president's final resting place.
A ceremony in Springfield Wednesday to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 16th president's death comes at a time when Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed eliminating the state's Historic Preservation Agency, which manages sites including the tomb. He would fold it into another department.
Lawmakers last year cut $1.1 million in state funding for sites in the Springfield area, which are now staffed by fewer employees for fewer hours.
Pam VanAlstine, president of the Lincoln Monument Association, said she's deeply concerned about what any more cuts might mean for the Lincoln site.