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McGuire defends Illinois State Museum, Lockport Gallery from closing

McGuire defends Illinois State Museum, Lockport Gallery from closingSPRINGFIELD – Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) spoke out Monday at the State Capitol against the closing of the Illinois State Museum and its Lockport Gallery. Gov. Bruce Rauner has ordered the state museum system permanently shut down, blaming Illinois’ budget impasse.

McGuire, State Rep. Emily McAsey (D-Lockport) and Lockport Mayor Steve Streit together gave testimony to the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. Pointing to the $6.3 million annual budget of the main museum in Springfield and its five branches, McGuire said, “Rarely is something essential a bargain, but the Illinois State Museum truly is.” McGuire emphasized that the museum’s 13.5 million historical artifacts “are already paid for, already in hand” and possess great educational and research value.

Jones hosts rally to denounce Governor Rauner’s attack on working families

Jones hosts rally to denounce Governor Rauner's attack on working familiesYesterday, in front of a semi packed room in the Kroc Center, State Senator Emil Jones (D-Chicago) hosted a rally with SEIU, CAPS, Roseland Hospital, daycare advocates, area ministers and several other community groups to denounce Governor Rauner’s vicious cuts that target working families.

“We won’t stand idly by and watch our community suffer at the hands of Governor Rauner’s corporate agenda,” said Senator Jones. “What about the family agenda? Governor Rauner is so focused on helping his City Club friends that he has forgotten the working families in Illinois.”

Since July, 2,000 working mothers and fathers have been denied child care assistance. Child care advocates are concerned that more stringent acceptance requirements will force more parents to leave their jobs and rely on more government assistance.

Koehler voices support for Dickson Mounds at state hearing

Koehler voices support for Dickson Mounds at state hearingSPRINGFIELD – In late June, Governor Bruce Rauner made the surprising announcement that he plans to close all of the Illinois State Museum sites, including Dickson Mounds in Lewistown. State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), who sits on the legislative panel that reviews all facility closing, voiced his opposition to the idea at a recent hearing.

“This is another prime example of the governor’s misplaced priorities,” Koehler said. “The economic and educational value of Dickson Mounds and the State Museum far outweigh their costs. The governor continues to single out low-cost programs and services that benefit middle-class families for cuts, while leaving expensive programs that benefit the wealthy few, like corporate tax breaks, untouched.”

Dickson Mounds is one of the major on-site archaeological museums in the nation. It chronicles the mound-building Mississippian culture that dominated much of the Eastern United States for centuries before European explorers and settlers reached North America.

Forby supports common-sense measure for gun owners

Forby supports common-sense measure for gun ownersSPRINGFIELD – Recently, a measure supported by State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) that updates the FOID and concealed-carry acts was signed into law.

The legislation stemmed from the case of a lifelong hunter whose FOID card was revoked by the state after 13 years. The gun enthusiast has a mild intellectual disability, and the 2013 law that allowed concealed carry in Illinois prevented people with mild disabilities who seek services from the state from possessing or using firearms.

“If someone is capable of safely using firearm either recreationally or in cases of self-defense, we shouldn’t take that right way,” said Forby.

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