The state's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability says it doesn't like the idea to close the Illinois State Museum and its satellite locations, but they say more importantly, they want to be taken seriously.
The vote to oppose Governor Bruce Rauner's plan was 7-2. But, State Representative Raymond Poe (R-Springfield) wishes the Governor cared what the commission thought.
"We made recommendations to the last Governor -- we closed a lot of facilities that shouldn't have been closed -- we recommended they stayed open, and here we're going down that same path again," says Poe. "At some point, I think COGFA ought to have a little more teeth than what they do."
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Poe says it's one thing to impact state services and state worker pay, but it's another to, as he put it, "fool with history." COGFA also supported keeping the Hardin Work Camp open.
"The Hardin Work Camp also has an intrinsic value to the State of Illinois," says State Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), COGFA co-chair. "Though entirely different, it also brings value to the people of the State of Illinois. In its own circle, it's equally important that we take a very, very concerted view as we go forward as we talk about closing institutions in the State of Illinois."
In both cases, lawmakers say it may end up continuing to cost the state money to close the facilities and keep them closed, rather than just leave them open.