WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Drive a Car, Pay DNR

May 24, 2012

Vehicle registration in Illinois would go up a couple of bucks under a measure accepted by a House panel.
It's one of various fee hikes intended to help the Department of Natural Resources.

Director Marc Miller says DNR has seen its budget reduced by more than half since 2002 and he expects more cuts ahead. 

"We're looking at finding ways to replace money that isn't currently there. So what we see is that we have roughly a $22 million short-fall that we need to make up somehow," Miller said.

If it passes, out-of-state visitors would have to pay a fee to visit state parks.

In addition, local governments would have to begin paying DNR for the consultations the agency carries out before construction projects.

A separate measure would charge a fee to all state park visitors.  But it's on hold because legislators appear to favor this plan.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio