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Print

Illinois House votes to reduce DNR mandates

March 28, 2012 at 11:46 PM

The State Journal-Register

The Illinois House signed off Wednesday on a Department of Natural Resource’s initiative to shed mandates it cannot or does not fulfill.

The chamber voted 114-0 on House Bill 404 in an effort to save millions. For instance, if the department eliminates meeting requirements for the Illinois Geographic Information Council and changes how it reports, Mautino said DNR will save about $200,000 a year.

The bill’s chief sponsor, Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, has previously said that DNR will face a $22 million shortfall in fiscal year 2014 as it will burn through its reserves and special funds. On the floor, Mautino described the decimation of DNR and how a number of interest groups are concerned about it.

“They have seen the budget of the Department of Natural Resources go from $100 million to $49 million to $45 million this year while having more mandates placed on it and half the number of people still doing the decades of work to the best of their abilities,” Mautino said.

Eliminating these areas, Mautino said, will allow the cash-strapped DNR to focus on its core areas.

Mautino said he is working with 38 to 50 different groups, like hunters and fishermen associations, on fee increases, which will be introduced in a later bill.

David Thomas can be reached at 782-6292.

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Positive article, we need more of this.

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