Fighting to not close the Illinois State Museum

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Springfield- People from all over Illinois were in Springfield on Monday to speak their concerns regarding the closure of the Illinois State Museum and other Illinois educational facilities.

Recently Gov. Rauner said that money could be saved if the Illinois State Museum would shut its doors. The director of Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Wayne Rosenthal spoke on behalf of the governor and the department in a public hearing agreeing with the governor. Rosenthal said, $4.88 million would be saved by laying off 60 employees from various sites and $1.5 million would be saved from operational costs.

Representatives do not want to lose the museum and said it would be a detrimental impact on the community.

Representative Kelly Burke of the 39th district said, "I would urge the governor and the department to take a second look at this."

Rosenthal said if only the museum would charge a small entry fee, the issue would be resolved.

If they don't 60 people will be out of a job and the department will only keep three employees.

"We would probably be looking at three individuals, so everyone else would be laid off," Rosenthal added.

That would leave the three employees to take over the work load handled by 60 people. For instance, they would have to ship artifacts back to the owners and handle grants.

"Those are individuals who are working on those grants, so we would have those three people there to oversee that," Rosenthal said.

"These are going to be some hard working three people," said Senator Donne Trotter.

Because the Illinois State Museum in Springfield is the only facility that employs more than 25 people, it is the only one that will be voted on. The others do not need legislators approval to close and layoff employees. The director said on Monday that, so far, no layoff notices have been sent out.

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