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House committee OKs bill to allow park fees

March 06, 2012 at 07:51 PM

The State Journal-Register

The Department of Natural Resources could begin charging entry fees for state parks under legislation that cleared the House Agriculture Committee this afternoon.

House Bill 5789, sponsored by Rep. JoAnn Osmond, R-Antioch, leaves it up to DNR to decide what the fees should be. The department supported the legislation, noting that it faces a 13.5 percent budget cut under Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed fiscal year 2013 budget.

Michael Ziri, the department’s legislative liaison, told the committee that there are six or seven other states that do not charge admission fees.

The fees are $5 to $10 on average, Ziri said, and some states charge an annual admission fee instead of a daily one for frequent park users.

The department is evaluating what the fees should be, he said. The department hopes to bring in $8 million in annual revenue under the proposal.

Rep. Don Moffitt, R-Gilson, voted for the bill but said he worried that fees would be swept or borrowed by the governor to use for other expenses.

Quinn has borrowed money from other state funds to bolster the budget but his budget office has pledged to pay it back.

“I would not want to give the authority to raise fees only to have them swept by the grim sweeper,” Moffitt said, referring to Quinn.

Chris Wetterich can be reached at 788-1523.

Related stories

Legislator proposes entrance fees for parks

Visitors to state parks may have to pay to play

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

As long as I get in FREE with my sportsman vanity plates since $25 per year is supposed to already go to maintain the state parks.

Otherwise, I hope they understand that many of us will cancel these plates and they will be in worse shape.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/06 at 09:59 PM

You can use the search box at the top of this page to type in JoAnn Osmond and read the article posted on 1/24/11. While the bill may have changed somewhat my opinion hasn’t.
If you can’t afford to maintain your house you need a smaller house it’s called downsizing. Because Osmond doesn’t have the stones to tell the folks in her district the obvious she wants to raise taxes and kick the can further down the road.
It makes me wonder what disgusting tax she promised to vote for to get the votes for her disgusting tax. I did however finally see a group of folks out on the miles of blacktop trails they were dragging a seal-coating tank behind them and putting out orange cones.
Just another gift that keeps giving.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/07 at 09:10 AM

I attached the link to last year’s story at the end of the article above. Thanks for reminding me.

Also, DNR has the authority to charge entrance fees to parks through the administrative rules process. That also was discussed last year. I’m not sure why the agency is pushing this bill.

Posted by Chris Young on 03/07 at 12:18 PM

Chris…you are correct, the IDNR already has the power to enact park entry fees, with a simple add rule. In Fact they even promised to do this 2 years ago, when they increased hunter & Fisherman fees & licences. They told is they had it all written up and it was all ready to implement. Guess what, it never happened ????
Notice how THIS bill is being sponsored by a Republican ????
So now that the Republicans are doing the right thing, the Democrats in Springfield can say that they were FORCED to start charging entry fees, because of a Republican bill.  They think this will be there easy out.
All a bunch of political BS.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/07 at 09:26 PM

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