SPRINGFIELD -- House lawmakers today failed to override a veto by Gov. Pat Quinn that rejected an attempt to cut in half the number of days each year that public museums and aquariums must offer free admission.
Legislators had sought to reduce the number of free days from 52 a year to 26, with supporters arguing the facilities are struggling under increasing budget pressure. But Quinn vetoed the measure, arguing the change would fall disproportionally on the state's poor who would miss out on the cultural institutions because they could not afford to pay for entry.
Sponsoring Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, argued the budget burden is harder for smaller museums to absorb, noting less admission dollars would mean fewer programs and outreach opportunities. Ultimately, legislators agreed with Quinn's concerns --- 49 lawmakers voted to override, but 71 votes were required to do so.