License plate fee increase fails in House

2012-06-01T16:41:00Z License plate fee increase fails in HouseBy Kurt Erickson |

SPRINGFIELD — A plan to raise the cost of license plates to help fund Illinois state parks faltered in the Senate early Friday.

Hours after a $2-per-year increase was pushed through the House, the proposal fell three votes short of passage in the Senate.

The measure, which would have boosted the annual car registration fee to $101 annually, could be resurrected later this year.

Gov. Pat Quinn and legislators have been mulling alternative ways of paying for the state parks in recent months. One proposal would give the Illinois Department of Natural Resources the power to impose a special fee on park users.

Opponents said Illinoisans have been hit with too many tax and fee hikes in recent years.

Supporters say the money would replace funds that have been diverted away from parks.

“This bill is something that we need to do to right the wrongs of the last 10 years,” said state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields.

Of the estimated $22 million raised, half would be targeted for park maintenance, with the remainder going to park operations.

State Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, said having everyone pay would be a better alternative. A special DNR decal would be hard to police and could deter people from visiting parks.

“This could be an economic engine if we would actually fund it adequately,” said state Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion.

“This bill is going to save DNR,” said state Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg.

The last time the state’s $99 license plate fee was raised was in July 2009 when lawmakers approved a $20 increase to help pay for road, bridge and school construction projects.

Secretary of State Jesse White, who would have to administer the fee, opposes the fee hike.

The legislation is Senate Bill 1566.

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(3) Comments

  1. maverick37
    Report Abuse
    maverick37 - June 02, 2012 2:57 pm
    Let's try cutting the pay of the house and senate to save money. They would not hesitate to cut yours!
  2. exrepub
    Report Abuse
    exrepub - June 02, 2012 4:30 am
    Sometimes I think I am caught in a time warp. I just got my license sticker renewed and it was more than 101 dollars. I think it was 102. If not it was more. Sometimes I see articles like the soc security info not being mailed. It hasn't been mailed for couple of years. I know because I applied for social security last year and my info had not been mailed because they stopped it before then.Do we hvae pony express on some info and the pony hasn't got here yet?
  3. cl
    Report Abuse
    cl - June 01, 2012 9:58 pm
    Good for our Senate.
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