Much of Illinois State Museum management leaves amid closure

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Most of the management team at the Illinois State Museum has retired or taken other jobs amid the museum's closure due to a lack of a state budget.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration closed the museum to the public on Oct. 1 and has laid off about a dozen members of the museum's management team, the (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported.

Museum board chairman Guerry Suggs said only three or four members of the management team would be available to return should the museum reopen. He said the others have retired or gotten new jobs.

Union employees working for the museum have spent their time doing curation work and other duties since the museum was closed. A lawsuit filed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees temporarily halted layoffs of about 150 people at the museum and other state agencies.

"Curation work needs to be done every day, and without the public being there, it has allowed more time for some of these things," Suggs said.

A bill designed to keep the museum open has been passed by the state House and Senate, and Suggs said the bill was delivered to Rauner on Dec. 9. But Suggs said it's unlikely the museum would reopen without a new budget.

Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly told The Associated Press in an email that the bill is under review.


Information from: The State Journal-Register,