Museum Funding Bill Advances

(AP) Senate Democrats are advancing legislation to stop Gov. Bruce Rauner’s planned closure of the Illinois State Museum. A Senate committee voted 11-5 Tuesday to keep the 138-year-old museum in Springfield and its satellite locations open. Democratic State Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill said employees received layoff notices from Rauner’s office on Monday. He says the facilities provide jobs and benefit Illinois economically and culturally. The Republican governor’s plan is part of his efforts to manage the state’s budget crisis. He says it would save Illinois $4.8 million annually. The proposal effects Dickson Mounds burial ground in western Illinois, art galleries in Lockport and the James R. Thompson state office building in Chicago, and the Southern Illinois Art & Artisans Center.