H.R. 930, New Philadelphia, Illinois, Study Act

H.R. 930

New Philadelphia, Illinois, Study Act

Date
April 28, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, April 28, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 930, the New Philadelphia, Illinois, Study Act, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 930 was introduced on February 28, 2013 by Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and was referred to the House Natural Resources Committee.  The bill was marked up on July 31, 2013 and was ordered reported, as amended, by unanimous consent.[1]

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[1] Committee Report 113-219.

Bill Summary

H.R. 930 directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of the New Philadelphia archeological site and surrounding land in Illinois to evaluate the site’s national significance and to determine the feasibility of designating it as a part of the National Park Service (NPS).  The bill requires that the study, in part, consider other alternatives for preservation, the annual cost of those alternatives, and the impact a NPS designation would have on existing commercial and recreational activities in surrounding communities.

Background

New units generally are added to the NPS system by an act of Congress, though national monuments may be added by Presidential proclamation.[1]  Legislation making a NPS designation may be preceded by legislation directing a study of the site’s significance and the feasibility of adding it to the NPS system.[2]

The town of New Philadelphia was founded by Frank McWorter in 1836, who intended to “apply[] proceeds earned through lot sales to free children and grandchildren who remained in bondage.”[3]  McWorter had been born enslaved, but later purchased his and his wife’s freedom, also ensuring the freedom of their future children.[4]  New Philadelphia “was the first town planned and legally registered by a free African-American before the Civil War”[5] and experienced integration “in a region and era of intense racial strife.”[6]  The town no longer remains and the property is now an archaeological site.[7]

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[1] Carol Hardy Vincent, National Park System: Establishing New Units, Congressional Research Service (Mar. 26, 2014) at 2.
[2] Id. at 5.
[3] Committee Report at 2.
[4] Id.
[5] H.R. 930, Sec. 2(2).
[6] Committee Report at 2-3.
[7] Id. at 3.

Cost

According to CBO estimates, implementing H.R. 930 would cost approximately $250,000 over the next three years.  The bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.