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This Is Illinois

Monday, Sep 28, 2015

* So, the museum and the shooting complex will both close, but workers will stay on the job. Wonderful

Despite a court case blocking him from laying off workers, Gov. Bruce Rauner is moving forward with the closure of the Illinois State Museum and the World Shooting and Recreation Complex near Sparta.

In an announcement issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the administration said the two facilities will remain closed while the legal proceedings regarding the layoffs of more than 100 workers are underway.

The three-paragraph missive noted employees are expected to stay on the job even though the facilities won’t be open to the public. […]

“It’s beyond disappointing, especially with the fact that the employees will still be there,” said state Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield. “I’m not sure what the employees will be doing.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Team Sleep - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:20 am:

    My dad asked me yesterday, “What will they be doing?!” My response was a very smart, “Um…”.

  2. - Langhorne - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:28 am:

    Court order be damned, close it.

    The only point is pain for the sake of pain.

  3. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:29 am:

    Maybe grass bowl and his colleagues can rent the museum out for corporate functions.

  4. - Anon221 - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:40 am:

    “I just want to thank everyone who made this day necessary.”

    Yogi Berra

  5. - Motambe - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:54 am:

    Rauner’s budget wizards keep telling the press that the shooting complex loses $3 million a year. So how much is the museum losing each year? And when will they publish the list of state parks that make a profit each year? We need to see that for an honest comparison. Oh, I forgot, honesty and transparency aren’t part of the governor’s budget battle.

  6. - Mama - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    The Dems should do a poll on this subject.

  7. - Anon221 - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:14 am:

    Motambe- “And when will they publish the list of state parks that make a profit each year?”

    Are dollars the only drivers? And if so, do we totally discount the effect of dollars that are spent, and the effects that happen when they aren’t spent? Question- should state parks and openlands be solely profit driven spaces?

  8. - Tournaround Agenda - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:23 am:

    I’ll miss Dickson Mounds. In addition to being a unique place, it’s also a major economic benefit to Lewistown.

  9. - illini - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:23 am:

    There could be many Yogiisms that would be relevant to what is going on in our great state at this time.

    May have to do a google search of appropriate Yogi statements and use them at appropriate times!

  10. - Midway Gardens - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:23 am:

    The spending in this State is so entrenched that you can’t reduce union headcount even if you have no budget or if the facilities are closed.

  11. - My New Handle - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    I imagine employees will be going about the business of continuing to secure the milllions of artifacts that the museum holds, continue returning and receiving research collections that have been borrowed and lent, and except for meeting with a public that visited the museum to learn more about Illinois’ natural and human history and cultures, continue to take pride in the work they have done.
    I am an “rnug” and find it shameful for rauner to treat our state with such disrespect.

  12. - Way South of I-80 - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:42 am:

    The insanity has got to stop before it is too late. Illinois is in serious danger of becoming an “underdeveloped” state - no human service or public health programs or museums and the list goes on and on… It is ridiculous and shameful.

  13. - Ginhouse Tommy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:52 am:

    I think that it’s not reducing the union headcount that’s the problem. Alot of agencies don’t have enough people to get the job done. If there’s hiring going on I’ll bet that it’s people who have connections. That won’t stop. They are going to have to raise revenues. As far as cuts, you can’t cut meat off of a soup bone. There’s nothing left to cut.

  14. - sal-says - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:18 pm:

    What SHRED of sense does that make?

  15. - Wordslinger - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:20 pm:

    It costs more to close the museum than to keep it open.

    Business smarts, eh?

  16. - Anon221 - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:23 pm:

    Gin- “As far as cuts, you can’t cut meat off of a soup bone.”

    No, but Rauner would boil in down and serve it up as a “stew”:

  17. - Sickandtired - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:27 pm:

    I want to stay in Illinois. It’s where I grew up. It’s where my father and his father grew up. However, living here is becoming more of a burden for middle class families every day. We all know that in order to have anything resembling justice and fairness, we must shield our lawmakers from the influences of the all-mighty dollar. So why in the world would we elect a man who’s whole life revolves around money?

  18. - sal-says - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:28 pm:

    So, continuing this nonsense…..

    Eventually, after tourist related spending continues to dive, businesses go belly up, overall spending & tax income goes down as folks lose their jobs, The Governor & Gang will be claiming: ‘See, you didn’t adopt our grow agenda and look at what happened.’

    Marvelous, destroy IL to prove a point.

  19. - zonz - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:32 pm:

    “Even after we closed the facilities to the public, the union bosses prevented dismissal of any of the state employees”
    – spox for ___
    (explained: yes, it’s all politics)

  20. - illini - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:44 pm:

    To my earlier post - Yogi is the only one who could ever hope to compete with the appropriate ( yeah, I mean snark ) that Willy, and occasionally a few others, can come up with.

  21. - crazybleedingheart - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    @ My New Handle — hear, hear!

    It’s embarrassing.

    I’m sorry our governor doesn’t understand why stuff like this exists.

    TeamSleep, if your dad has allergies, maybe you can use the site to help explain why dealing with the public is only a tiny fraction of the work of a state museum.

  22. - vole - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:53 pm:

    Ideological vindictiveness creating collateral damage to the citizens of Illinois. For want of legislative victories, the potential benefits of which remain vague and of questionable value. So, the people elected away incompetency for this brand of competency? What has Rauner, Inc. bought for this land?

  23. - crazybleedingheart - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:53 pm:

    (yes, that’s a pretty old project, but a good example for a culture that literally won’t give $.02 to advance science or preserve history unless it can be directly explained why it’s vital in order to preserve our modern comforts.)

  24. - Jasper - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 1:04 pm:

    If Rauner’s cronies say that the World Shooting Complex is losing 3 million a year I would suggest that figure is dubious at best.

    That facility pumps $15 million a year….every year..into the Southern Illinois economy.

    So what is really going on here.

    Hint: Location…if this facility were near Chicago Rauner would never consider closing an economic engine.

  25. - FormerParatrooper - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    I guess they could police brass at the shooting complex and turn in for scrap /s

    What is the outook for State Hunting Areas? DNR going to man them for deer season?

  26. - Anon - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 1:33 pm:

    This is the price of revolution in state finances. Without much chance at change in one chamber of the legislature any time soon, this showdown was bound to happen. The expectation that Rauner would just buckle under Dem pressure the same way previous governors have was, perhaps, reasonable based solely on political party history but was extremely naive based on anything said during the campaign or by looking at his background as a non-politician compared to the government types that have been governor for as long as most of us have been alive. He’s a different animal, and part of this logjam is that longtime political animals don’t see him as an equal until he buckles. Ridiculousness. The ones hurt the most will be/are the ones that need help the most. But it appears NEITHER side is willing to put those needy before their own agenda. SMH.

  27. - SourKraut - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 1:35 pm:


    Can’t get much for split plastic shotgun shells.

  28. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 2:15 pm:

    Hard for me to admit I was wrong, but I thought Rauner would keep shooting complex open to to help keep senate seat inGOP hands. Looks like he is sticking it to JCII.

  29. - walker - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 2:16 pm:

    Close the public facilities, and hurt the public, even though it saves the state little or nothing? It puts pressure on Dems somehow?

  30. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 2:36 pm:

    More of Brucey’s superstar management!

  31. - Beaner - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 2:40 pm:
    Note to Auditor General’s Office: Please include Federal Single Audit steps to Pittman Robertson Act federal dollars going to DNR to determine propriety. Thank you.

  32. - Motambe - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 3:06 pm:

    Anon221 - my sarcasm wasn’t very clear. Why is the shooting complex held to a profit/loss standard that other parks are not judged by? And yes, there is tremendous value in providing recreation opportunities for families at our Illinois state parks. It is a valuable and historic obligation that the state should maintain and support.

  33. - VanillaMan - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 3:27 pm:

    Rauner’s incompetence seems to know no bounds, doesn’t it?

  34. - Anon221 - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 3:36 pm:

    Sorry Motambe, I’ll readjust my antenna:))

  35. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 3:38 pm:

    This just in. “Rauner shuts down shooting complex because he thinks it will stop gun violence in Chicago”

  36. - Secret Square - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 3:39 pm:

    Speaking of museums and history… here’s another field in which Mississippi, of all places, is actually doing better than we are — preparation for the bicentennial of statehood:

    “In Mississippi, the state’s bicentennial committee, which began work in 2013, is trying to raise $10 million. Residents are able to contribute to the effort through their state income tax returns. Two new museums — the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum — both are scheduled to open in Jackson in 2017.”

  37. - Sir Reel - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 3:41 pm:

    Mo, the shooting complex was billed as an economic development project more than a typical DNR site. It was supposed to do wonders for the area. IMO it hasn’t done much. The American Trap Shooting Association’s annual Grand American competition is held there every summer and it brings a crowd but other than that the facility is largely unused. It’s like the State Fairgrounds, full a couple of weeks a year and virtually empty the rest of the time. Hard to justify the capital cost (perhaps $75 million in acquisition, engineering, construction, Park Road Fund, DNR Heavy Equipment Crew, DECO grant, etc. spending) and high operating costs. All for a constituency (competitive sport shooting) that’s small.

  38. - Angry Chicagoan - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 6:50 pm:

    @ Way South of I-80 I fear people here already think like people in a less developed country. Sensible people need to fight back. There’s no fight back right now that I see. None.

  39. - Lynn S, - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 8:31 am:

    @ anon 1:33–

    Would you kindly select a nickname for your Raunerbot self? And it’s a darned shame that you didn’t get the education that I got in jr. high in southern Illinois–run-on sentences are bad form.

  40. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 8:58 am:

    When the Museum is opened in the future, there will be a very nice exhibit about how one Illinois governor didn’t value history to the point where he closed it down.

    I’d insure that everyone who visits the Illinois State Museum in the future is aware of what a ridiculous piece of work Bruce Rauner was.

    Rauner can close the museum today, but he does not control what the museum does, regarding his place in history, tomorrow.

  41. - realworld - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 10:11 am:

    Bid News Flash; People SOS office won’t be sending out notices. Big Deal, they shouldn’t have been doing it anyway. People need to be responsible for their own business.

  42. - realworld - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 10:12 am:

    Shooting Complex is nothing but a white elephant, close it. Nothing but a money pit.

  43. - Jasper - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    “it’s a darned shame that you didn’t get the education that I got in jr. high in southern Illinois”

    “Shooting Complex is nothing but a white elephant, close it.”

    Please do not shoot your mouth off about Southern Illinois unless you have spent some time here.
    When you consider that this part of the state is ALWAYS expected to more with less yet we make-do.
    Our stellar state government spends many millions for incentives and targeted infrastructure to attract business and industry…..but only in Cook and the collar counties.
    We educate our children on a fraction of the amount received in comparison to the northern tier…but we hold our own.

    You should visit Southern Illinois….just leave your carpet bags at home.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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