House GOP, Rauner Administration work to reopen shuttered State Museum

As part of budget cutbacks, the Illinois State Museum closed in September 2016. The State Museum, located in Springfield just south of the State Capitol, was a traditional show place for school groups from throughout Illinois, as well as for individual tourists and families interested in Illinois history and culture. Representatives Tim Butler and Sara Wojcicki Jimenez of Springfield are working with the Rauner Administration to reopen the Museum.

Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto of SB 317 could create a pathway to reopen the popular landmark. Under the Governor’s policy amendatory veto message, the State Museum will be green-lighted to develop a new operating plan under which the Museum could resume operations. The proposed new operating plan will include the State Museum’s first-ever admission fee for visitors, and will rely upon increased help from volunteer aides and private-sector donors/friends of the Museum.

Friends of the Illinois State Museum hope that the effort can also be used to reopen two subsidiary Museum facilities: Dickson Mounds near Lewistown, a facility oriented toward the story of Illinois River Native Americans, and an art gallery by the banks of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in suburban Lockport, Illinois.