Representative Breen Identifies Flaws with Museum Bill SB 317

Following the inability to pass a balanced budget this year, the Rauner Administration announced in June a series of budget reductions, including the temporary closing of the Illinois State Museum and all branch locations. The museum closures officially took place on October 1. On Tuesday, members of the House voted 82-32 to require the State of Illinois to operate the main State Museum in Springfield and the branch locations at Dickson Mounds, Lockport, Rend Lake and at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. During the floor debate, Rep. Breen pointed out that the bill SB 317, as written and approved by the Senate, did not include an enforcement mechanism that would require the museums to be open to the public during any set hours. The language of the bill has no impact whatsoever upon the status quo condition of the museums. "The bill does not change state law or state practice, and ultimately does nothing to provide public access to the museums,” stated Breen.