Panel approves $5 entrance fee for Illinois State Museum

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A legislative panel has approved charging an admission fee to the Illinois State Museum, putting the Springfield facility on track to reopen next month.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the bipartisan Joint Commission on Administrative Rules voted Tuesday to let the Illinois Department of Natural Resources charge the $5-per-person fee. The museum previously was free. Children under age 18, seniors and veterans still will get in for free.

The museum was closed at the end of September to save the state money amid a lack of a budget. DNR spokesman Tim Schweizer says July 2 is the target date to reopen the museum.

Gov. Bruce Rauner said in February that the museum could reopen if it found ways to be less reliant on state money.