Whether it’s a structural problem or simply a personality conflict, the talk continues to examine the possibility of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield being its own agency, rather than being part of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) surprised many in May, in the last days of the spring session, by introducing such a bill.
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It didn't get far, other than to lead to reports of Madigan’s ties – the landlord of his Chicago office space is the companion of the ALPLM’s director – and of disharmony between that director, Eileen Mackevich, and IHPA director Amy Martin.
“The kind of discussion, the kind of internal review,” said Chris Wills, a spokesman for the facility and for IHPA, “is behind the scenes. And it’s healthy, I hope.”
A study group is about to release a report of its findings, and a new bill to separate the library/museum from IHPA could move in 2015.
For Mackevich’s part, she says the discussion brought a lot of interest to ALPLM, and that can’t be bad.