* The Illinois Office of Tourism has a couple of new promotional videos…
Michael Higgins, owner of Maldaner’s Restaurant in downtown Springfield, wondered why the Illinois State Museum was being showcased with its future hanging in the balance. The museum’s fate, at least for the near term, became clearer as Friday wore on. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced late in the afternoon that the state museum system and the World Shooting and Recreational Complex near Sparta will close Wednesday.
The facilities will stay closed to the public until a court case over layoffs of state workers is decided.
The facilities were targeted earlier this summer for closure at the end of this month, casualties of the ongoing budget fight. Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration earlier this week postponed previously planned layoffs of more than 100 unionized workers, including museum employees, due to an agreement between the state and the unions. The employees will return to work despite the closures.
Gemberling said the bureau’s video project that included museum footage began “several months ago.”
“We do have a contingency plan in place to replace some of that footage depending on what happens with the Illinois State Museum,” she said earlier Friday.
Video production takes a while, so I can see why it’s still in there.
But, here’s something to ponder: If the museum is so good that it’s in a state tourism promotional video, why is it being shut down even though the employees are still working?