$2 license plate fee for parks passes House, fails in Senate

Tribune reporter

SPRINGFIELD --- Legislation aimed at bolstering funding for state parks by increasing license plate fees by $2 and charging fees to out-of-state users of state parks was approved by the Illinois House tonight but failed in the Senate.

The measure also would have charged users of off-highway recreational vehicles; charge an entrance fee to the Illinois State Museum in Springfield; allowed fees to be placed on using a public beach, bike trail or equestrian trail; and increased registration fees for motorized watercraft.

Sponsoring Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, said the measure would raise $15 million in its first year and $32 million in later years for the Department of Natural Resources, which has seen major funding cuts in recent years.

The bill passed the House on a 61-56 vote. It would have brought the base license plate fee for cars to $100 a year, from the current $98.

The bill came up for a vote in the Senate after the Thursday midnight deadline, meaning it took 36 votes instead of 30 to pass. The bill received only 33 votes in favor, falling three votes short.

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