Lawmakers Say They'll Push to Reopen Illinois State Museum


Springfield - A budget disagreement a Democratically led House and Senate, and a Republican governor has lead to several closures including  the Illinois State Museum.

However, this closure that has now unified some Democrats and Republicans who are saying it's time to put partisan politics aside and get a budget passed to prevent more closures like this."

The state museum was founded in 1877 and had already begun planning a major celebration to honor the state's bicentennial in three years.

As the budget impasse continues the museum is now closed to visitors and many consider it a loss for the state and community as a whole.

"It adds a lot of cultural significance to our community.  It adds a great deal of economic benefits to our community as well," said Springfield state representative Tim Butler.

Decatur state representative Sue Scherer added,"heartbreaking is a good word.  That hits the nail on the head."

In recent months it's not often that Democrats and Republicans agree on something, but when it comes to the museum, Scherer and Butler agree that a closure is not the best answer to turn the state around.

"This is one of them that we voted the same on this.  And we voted the same on some other things.  In negotiations, you start with your strengths and work towards the things that need corrected so that's a good starting point," said Scherer.

"I'm happy to work together with representative Scherer, senator Manar, and representative Poe, anybody who really wants to work together to keep this institution open.  There are issues that we can work together on.  I think this is a good example where we can have bi-partisan support to keep it open so maybe this will have a road map how we can move forward and get a budget done," added Butler.

Those employees who are union members here at the museum will still have their jobs come Thursday morning.  

However, those who are not will now be left looking for new jobs.

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