Budget Fight
4:14 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Lincoln Home Would Be Closed By Federal Shutdown

Lincoln Home
The Lincoln Home in Springfield would be closed if the federal government shuts down Monday night. The majority of National Park Service employees have been deemed non-essential, meaning they’d be sent home without pay.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

The historic home of Abraham Lincoln in Springfield would be among the victims of a federal shutdown Monday night.

During a shutdown, the federal government makes all kinds of decisions about what's considered an essential government function.

Air traffic control and National Weather Service forecasts are essential. National parks are not. Which is why the Lincoln Home National Historic Site is on the block.

Site superintendent Dale Phillips says about 30 employees will be set home without pay.

"The visitors center will be closed, there'll be no tours of the Lincoln home, the parking lots will be closed," he says. "A very, very small number of employees — who are primarily law enforcement, visitor protection — they will remain on duty in a non-pay status, basically to see to it that the resource is protected."

This comes as the park has already seen its budget reduced by about 25 percent in recent years. The park has been open seven days a week save Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. But Phillips says the lack of funding means that could have to change.