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Quinn to announce park reopenings

February 25, 2009 at 01:28 PM

Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to announce during a Thursday news conference that closed parks in Illinois will reopen.

Quinn told Gatehouse News Service reporter Ryan Keith he’ll make a major announcement about re-opening shuttered state parks Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the Department of Natural Resources headquarters in Springfield.

“I think anybody who likes the state parks of Illinois will like what we have to say,” Quinn said.

Still uncertain is whether Quinn will reopen all of the parks or some of the parks that were closed on Nov. 30 under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Those parks are:

  • Castle Rock State Park, Oregon
  • Lowden State Park, Oregon
  • Illini State Park, Marseilles
  • Hidden Springs State Forest, Strasburg
  • Moraine View State Park, LeRoy
  • Weldon Springs State Recreation Area, Clinton
  • Wolf Creek State Park, Windsor

Quinn did not elaborate on how the parks would be funded, but he did say that opening parks is particularly important during difficult economic times.

“I believe in this tough economic time, where families can’t take vacations in many cases, having our state parks open to families is very important,” Quinn said.

Quinn also said the state’s massive budget hole could be bigger than $9 billion by next year, creating a crisis unlike Illinois has ever seen.

Quinn, in an impromptu discussion with reporters after a meeting at the Capitol today with Senate Republicans, said the state’s budget picture could get worse as the world’s economy continues to falter. That could mean very difficult budget decisions facing him and lawmakers, although Quinn wouldn’t commit to pushing tax increases or other solutions.

“It’s no fun to talk about taxes, but we have to have a fair fiscal system that pays its bills,” Quinn said he told Republicans today.

The governor said he’s skeptical of raising the state’s motor fuel tax or fees on driver’s licenses and vehicle titles to help solve the financial problems but can’t rule anything out at this point.

There has been no word yet on the status of 12 state historic sites that were also closed under Blagojevich.

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

So far so good Quinn….now get a CCW law passed.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/25 at 05:18 PM

It would be interesting to see if he would sign it, I won’t hold my breath. To bad that is will get killed by Chicago Democrats and King Richard Daley, and never make it to his desk.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/25 at 06:16 PM

Before we get all wrapped up in Quinn’s moves let’s look at the bigger picture.
Quinn has made three positive moves regarding the IDNR. 1. The removal of Kurt Granberg as Director of IDNR 2.  The appointment of Marc Miller as the new Director. 3. The move he will make public today re-opening the Blagojevich closed parks.
Where does that leave us?
As of now Quinn has only given back what we already had.
According to Director Marc Miller the IDNR currently has between 1300 and 1400 employees. According to former Director Brent Manning the agency employed between 2600 and 2700 at the time he resigned. 
The IDNR’s budget is currently millions and millions of dollars short of what it was in 2003.
With the economy the way it is and with no hope in sight Quinn and Miller have a very long road to just get back WHAT WE ALREADY HAD IN 2003.
The action plan OPERATION DNR being put together by Rep. Jim Watson, former Director Manning and several others, would be a giant step towards the resurrection of the IDNR. When it comes out WE ALL NEED TO GET BEHIND THE PROPOSAL. That initiative, if approved, would not only take us back to 2003, but would move the IDNR far into the future.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/26 at 07:30 AM

With the economy in the tank and the unemployment rate rising with each passing day, we need the State Parks to re-open. These State Parks provide low cost entertainment for families with ever tightning budgets. It’s a great way for families to spend time with their kids. Plus it gets the kids away from video games.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/26 at 08:56 AM

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