"We have made government transformation a priority in order to
deliver the best services to taxpayers at the best value," Governor
Rauner said. "We owe it to our citizens to be good stewards of the
state's resources, and these changes will deliver on that promise."
To realize the full potential of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Library and Museum (ALPLM), Executive Order 17-01 will make the
museum a standalone agency and consolidate the remaining functions
of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (HPA) into the Illinois
Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The ALPLM is a world-class institution with very specific and
specialized needs. This action will ensure the ALPLM will be able to
live up to its potential as a world-class facility dedicated to the
legacy of one of our nation’s greatest president. Alan Lowe, the
current Library Director of the ALPLM, will become the inaugural
Executive Director of the agency. The Executive Order will also
create an ALPLM Board of Trustees, which will consist of 11 members
appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate.
“The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is a wonderful
institution for Illinois and, really, for the world. But it can be
even better, and one way to make that happen is to let it stand on
its own two feet,” said ALPLM Executive Director Alan Lowe. “I’m
confident this change will produce a new focus on the presidential
library’s mission and a better response to the challenges and
opportunities of the future.”
The remaining functions of HPA will transfer to DNR and be housed
under the Office of Land Management in the new Division of Historic
Preservation to maintain and manage the State’s historic sites. The
HPA Board of trustees will be abolished as part of this transition.
“The Department of Natural Resources has tremendous expertise in
operating and maintaining sites for public enjoyment. The Illinois
Historic Preservation Agency knows how to bring to life the state’s
amazing heritage. Together, we’ll make sure this consolidation is
seamless for our visitors and results in an enhanced experience,”
said Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Director Heidi Brown-McCreery.
Executive Order 17-02 furthers the administration's efforts to
provide better services to Illinois residents by consolidating the
Human Rights Commission (HRC) into the Department of Human Rights (DHR).
This move will help expedite anti-discrimination cases brought by
Illinois citizens. Currently, there are more than 1,000 cases
pending at HRC and the average wait time after filing a charge of
discrimination is more than four years. Additionally, this
consolidation will save taxpayers half a million dollars in the
first year alone.
[to top of second column]
“While the Illinois Human Rights Act was created
with the intention of unifying state anti-discrimination
protections, maintaining two agencies with conflicting
administrative operations has led to an unforgivable backlog that
hurts those who need our services the most,” said DHR Acting
Director Janice Glenn. “This consolidation will allow us to more
effectively utilize resources and modernize the process by which
discrimination charges move through our system.”
The consolidation of these two agencies will produce faster action in both
investigative and legal proceedings. Importantly, though, consolidation will not
compromise the HRC’s independent appellate review of these cases required by
law. Illinois citizens and businesses use the HRC for these types of cases to
avoid more costly litigation in civil court. The consolidated agency model will
be similar to the model used in human rights agencies City of Chicago and New
York City and in states such as New Jersey, Massachusetts, Indiana, Michigan,
Ohio and Minnesota.
“Illinois has a rich history of strong civil rights protections and this
transition will allow our unified agency to fully realize its mission of
protecting our residents from unlawful discrimination,” said HRC Chair Rose Mary
Bombela-Tobias. “I look forward to working with IDHR and our Commissioners on
strengthening our ability to assist those who work with our agency.”
Finally, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will transfer the
functions of the Office of Recycling and Energy to the Illinois Environmental
Protection Agency and the Office of Coal Development to DNR under Executive
Order 17-03. The functions of the Energy and Recycling Office and the Coal
Office are aligned with the missions and expertise of IEPA and DNR,
respectively, and this transfer will allow both offices to continue to advance
their missions within agencies that better suit their functions.
IEPA is responsible for safeguarding our state’s environment, and the mission of
the Office of Energy and Recycling is aimed at reducing energy consumption and
promoting clean, renewable energy. Moving this office enhances IEPA’s mission to
safeguard our environment and reduce pollution in Illinois. Additionally,
transferring the Coal Office to DNR enhances DNR’s mission to manage, conserve,
and protect Illinois’ natural resources.
[Office of the Governor Bruce Rauner]