PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is urging Governor J.B. Pritzker to reevaluate how children’s museums are allowed to operate in Illinois.
State Senator Jason Barickman (53rd District-R), State Senator Dave Koehler (46th District-D), and State Representative Kelly Burke (36th District-D) recently sent a letter to the governor, addressing concerns with restrictions on children’s museums.
Under current rules, children’s museum directors say they cannot reopen to the public until Phase 5 of Restore Illinois because they offer primarily hands-on exhibits.
In the letter to Pritzker, state legislators say these organizations are unfairly impacted, one of the reasons cited is that similar businesses being allowed to open.
“You can go to gyms, you can go to bowling alleys. You can do certain things that have some sort of a touch element but you can’t go to children’s museums. There’s a lot of reasons that strikes a lot of people including myself as odd and dysfunctional and we’re trying to fix it,” said Senator Barickman.
Barickman also explains that children’s museums provide meaningful learning opportunities and the pandemic has heightened the need for those organizations.
“Families with children, they need the educational and social outlet that comes from these discovery museums, and unfortunately those things are not available to Illinoisans and to Illinois children. So we can fix that and we’re calling on the governor to do so,” he said.