Quinn vetoes legislation that would cut free-admission days at museums, aquariums

SHARE Quinn vetoes legislation that would cut free-admission days at museums, aquariums
SHARE Quinn vetoes legislation that would cut free-admission days at museums, aquariums

SPRINGFIELD-Citing concern for low-income families, Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have cut by half the number of free days state museums and aquariums have to offer Illinois residents.

The measure, which passed both chambers of the Legislature last spring, would have reduced the number of free days from 52 to 26 in a move that would have raised revenue for Illinois cultural institutions.

“Many Illinois families can only visit these museums on the 52 days that they are currently open to residents free of charge,” the governor wrote in a letter to lawmakers that explains his veto.

“Limiting the number of days our aquariums and museums are available free of cost would disproportionately limit access to our lower-income families,” he said. “I cannot support any legislation that seeks to reduce exposure to the vast educational resources on display at our museums, particularly for those in our state that are most vulnerable.”

The governor’s move, however, may only be symbolic since the legislation sponsored by Rep. Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford) and Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) passed the House and Senate by margins sufficient enough to override Quinn.

The House roll call on House Bill 1200 was 79-36, which is eight votes more than the 71-vote veto-proof majority threshold. The Senate vote was 40-4; 36 votes are needed to override a veto in the Senate.

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