On 10 November, the Illinois House of Representatives passed a bill that would require the state government to operate an Illinois State Museum. SB 317 passed the Senate in August.
The bill’s sponsors hope that the legislation will force Governor Bruce Rauner (R) to reopen the museum, which closed its doors to the public at the end of September. The museum was shuttered because of a budget impasse and significant deficits in the state.
The Governor’s office is reviewing the legislation, which passed with enough votes to override a veto. Even if SB 317 becomes law, the Rauner Administration would not be forced to reopen the museum, as the bill does not provide funding to operate the museum.
The museum is at risk of losing its accreditation because of the closure.
“The actions by the Illinois state government that forced the Illinois State Museum system to close to the public left us no choice but to place this museum on probation pending further information from the museum system,” said Burt Logan, who chairs the American Alliance of Museums’ Accreditation Commission.
Earlier this year, the NSC Alliance was among numerous national organizations to urge the Governor to reverse course and keep the museum open.