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Manar pushes to keep Illinois state museums open


From Illinois Business Journal new services

SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Andy Manar has introduced a plan that would require the state to continue operating its museums, regardless of state budget disputes.

“Our state museums are the guardians of our shared heritage as Illinoisans,” said Manar, D-Bunker Hill. “Letting our state museums close would be a disservice to children and to future generations.”

The proposal, contained in both Senate Bill 317 and Senate Bill 2161, is being co-sponsored by Democratic Sens. John Sullivan of Rushville and Pat McGuire of Joliet.

The state’s museums face closure as state government continues to operate without a 2016 spending plan because of Gov. Rauner’s vetoes. The Alan J. Dixon Illinois State Museum in Springfield houses a repository that includes one of the country’s most extensive anthropological collections, hundreds of thousands of geological and zoological specimens and an expansive library of historical records and rare books. All of that would be lost to the public if the museum shuts its doors because of the governor’s actions.

Manar’s proposal would require the continued operation and public displays at the Springfield museum, as well as the museums at Dickson Mounds, Lockport, Rend Lake and the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.

Manar’s museum commitment proposal awaits consideration by the Senate.

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