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Just a week after hearing that Illinois’ tourism numbers are on the rise, Vandalia residents are learning that their biggest tourist attraction is taking a big hit.
A month after saying that cuts at state historic sites were likely, officials of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency announced those cuts.
The sites affected by those cuts include the Vandalia Statehouse, which will now be open one less day each week.
Now open Tuesday through Saturday, the days of operation at the Statehouse will be reduced to Wednesday through Saturday, according to IHPA Director Amy Martin.
Martin said the cuts at the Statehouse and other state historic sites is in response to the General Assembly’s passage of an incomplete budget that takes $1.1 million out of the agency’s operations budget, a cut of 19 percent.
“Several legislators have said they want to reverse these cuts,” Martin said. “We are grateful for their support, and optimistic that something can be done to prevent deeper cuts that contribute so much to education and the economy,” she said.
While many historic sites ordinarily reduce their hours in the fall, she said, “now, because of budget cuts, most schedules will be reduced even further, and the shorter hours will sometimes begin sooner.”