In the face of soaring budget deficits, Illinois is reducing access to some of its most celebrated Abraham Lincoln sites. These cuts could be devastating to the state's strong tourism tie to Lincoln and the revenues that generates, CBS 2's Mike Flannery reports:
Budget cuts totaling a mere $2.8 million brought an early cut to off-season visiting hours this year at The Old State Capitol, where Honest Abe served in Illinois' General Assembly, and where Barack Obama launched his presidential campaign last year.
The tomb of America's most-revered leader, previously always open seven days a week, is now down to five.
The 16th President's old law office went from seven days to just one. As a new President from Illinois stirs a new level of worldwide interest in Abraham Lincoln, the cuts strike some as shortsighted.
"I don't think it makes any sense when you are celebrating the bicentennial of Lincoln's,'' said former Gov. Jim Edgar.
A 50 percent cut in Illinois' historic preservation budget means we're losing a chance to visit some Land of Lincoln landmarks, not just in Springfield, but Vandalia, Charleston and Bloomington, where some sites are closed completely until next July first.
Watch the report: