Now, out of the blue, Gov. Bruce Rauner is threatening to close the Illinois State Museum in his effort to persuade Democrats to vote for workers compensation reform and other parts of his personal “turnaround” agenda. Stop it. The museum, which dates to 1877, has a miniscule budget of about $6 million, and if the collection is preserved while the doors are closed there would be hardly any savings. Meanwhile, the accredited museum is an important tourist attraction for Springfield, bringing to the Illinois economy easily as much as it costs. With summer the busiest time for museum programming, even a temporary closure would be disruptive for hundreds of kids and parents. And who’s going to donate any money or objects to a museum threatened with closure? Governor, hands off the Illinois State Museum. –Fletcher Farrar, editor and publisher

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