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Mar 8, 2012 6:27 AM by AP

Schedler says budget could force museum closures

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Secretary of State Tom Schedler says he'll have to close museums if lawmakers pass the budget proposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Schedler outlined the situation Wednesday to the House Appropriations Committee, which is combing through Jindal's proposals for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

The secretary of state oversees 17 museums, mostly tiny museums run by volunteers and part-time workers. Schedler says with the budget proposed, he could keep open the two largest museums, the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge and the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum in Shreveport, but would have to shut down every other museum he oversees.

Schedler's trying to get local communities to take over some museum operations.

Jindal proposed a $70 million budget for Schedler's office.

The governor's budget office says Jindal didn't propose a cut to state museums, but is expecting $1.5 million in savings at the secretary of state's office from proposed retirement changes Jindal is pushing, which haven't yet received legislative approval.

Schedler says his office's calculations on the retirement savings are far lower than what the governor is projecting.

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