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|Moffitt Bill Calls on Historic Sites Funding to be Restored
|A local state lawmaker is drafting legislation to restore certain appropriations to the Historic Preservation Agency that were reduced or vetoed by the Governor.
The Carl Sandburg birthplace in Galesburg and the Bishop Hill State Historic Site in Henry County are located in State Representative Don Moffitt's legislative district, and besides being historic places, they also generate tourism dollars for both the state and local economies.
Moffitt says that's important, and it's a bad move for Governor Rod Blagojevich to cut funding for the sites. "It's really the cornerstone of some of the tourism activity, and I think it's a mistake to cut funding for an actual project, in this case historic preservation, where they bring this additional money," Moffitt said. "It's not cost effective to make the cut, which will reduce tourism, reduce revenue and sales tax, reduce revenue coming into the local community."
The state historic preservation agency reduced the hours of operation at selected sites earlier this month to try to cope with the effects of a 2.8 million dollar budget reduction. They include the Sandburg home in Galesburg and Bishop Hill, which are only open Wednesday through Sunday instead of seven days a week. IHPA officials say workers hired for the summer tourist season have been laid off a month early in another effort to save money.
Moffitt says he expects bi-partisan support for the legislation. The chief co-sponsors of the bill are Republican Representative Rich Brauer of Petersburg, and Democrat Representatives Mike Boland of East Moline and Patrick Verchoore of Rock Island.
Moffitt and Boland plan on having a press conference in Bishop Hill Thursday night to talk more about the matter.
|08 25 08 by Newsroom
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