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updated: 5/27/2014 11:21 AM

Separate agency for Lincoln library advances

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  • Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan

    Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan
    Associated Press

Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, -- Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has denied that personal friendships are driving his proposal to make the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum a separate state agency.

A House committee on Monday approved the Chicago Democrat's idea to break the decade-old institution off from the Historic Preservation Agency. The measure moves to the House floor.

Madigan confirmed he is a friend of library and museum director Eileen Mackevich and her longtime friend Stanley Balzekas. Balzekas runs a Chicago museum of Lithuanian culture and is landlord for Madigan's state office. But Madigan says he has not been lobbied by either.

Mackevich told the Chicago Sun-Times that the library and museum would be stronger as a stand-alone agency. She says she has no personality clash with Preservation Agency director Amy Martin.

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