- Suspect, 17, charged in Halloween hit-and-run in Roscoe
- Saint Anthony College of Nursing president to retire
- Man found guilty in deadly August 2013 crash at Mulford and Garrett Lane
- ‘The Price is Right Live!’ at Coronado March 1; tickets on sale Nov. 21
- Rockford’s E. Faye Butler to perform at Ten Chimneys in Wisconsin
- Stockholm Inn to be honored by Illinois Office of Tourism
- Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office to be out in force during Thanksgiving holiday
- Wallace co-sponsors bill to increase minimum wage
- Stadelman’s measure to prevent layoffs passes state Senate
- More than 46 million Americans to travel for Thanksgiving, most since 2007
State park fees needed for maintenance, according to advocates and lawmakers
By Anthony Brino
Illinois Statehouse News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Those interested in visiting state parks in Illinois may have to pay a fee to offset a cut in funding to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) wants to reduce the department’s budget by 13.5 percent, or $16.2 million. IDNR currently has a budget of $61million.
House Bill 5789 passed the Illinois House with an 81-29 vote Monday, March 26, and now heads to the state Senate.
The bill — which has Quinn’s support — gives IDNR the discretion to set the fee. IDNR is considering $25 per person for an annual pass to the state park system and between $5 to $10 for a daily pass, said spokesman Chris McCloud.
The fees could generate about $9 million, said state. Rep. JoAnn Osmond, R-Antioch.
Supporters of the bill said it would allow IDNR to perform much-needed maintenance.
Jack Darin, director of the Illinois Sierra Club, an environmental advocacy organization, said: “I think it’s a small price to pay. Illinoians are used to going to state parks in Wisconsin, which does charge user fees. Those parks are in great shape. Our parks are not.”
Posted March 28, 2012