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SB1310 clears first hurdle: Bill for vehicle fee at Starved Rock advances

Starved Rock State Park's southern entrance. | Photo from Starved Rock State Park's online gallery.

SB1310 advanced out of committee Thursday toward a vote on he Illinois Senate floor.

SB1310, sponsored by Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris), would take the vehicle fees and put them in a special fund for use in infrastructure and public safety at Starved Rock SP, the busiest state park in Illinois.

The bill, which would set up vehicle fees at Starved Rock State Park, passed out of the Environment and Conservation Committee by an 8-0 vote.

Since the bill was introduced on Feb. 7, Rezin sharpened the language on the bill with an amendment that tightens where the fees would go and restricts the fees to vehicles.

Click here to read my column earlier this year on the bill.

Click here to track the progress of the bill.

Here is the release from Rezin spokeswoman Ellie Leonard after the committee vote:

Starved Rock better able to maintain safety and upkeep under Rezin legislation

Springfield, IL… In an effort to ensure safety and upkeep at Starved Rock State Park, State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) is sponsoring legislation that would allow the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to implement a parking fee. Senate Bill 1310 passed the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee Thursday.

“Due to the large amount of visitors at Starved Rock, the park has had trouble keeping up on maintenance projects and ensuring safety to its visitors,” said Sen. Rezin. “This would be a very minimal parking fee that would help the park stay clean, maintain its trails, and provide additional parking.”

Sen. Rezin noted that Starved Rock State Park sees well over two million visitors annually, and if it were a national park, it would rank 11th in the amount of visitors it sees.

“We are so fortunate to have such a beautiful park in our region,” said Sen. Rezin. “We must do what we can to maintain this asset and keep it attractive so that visitors continue to want to come here.”

Fees collected under SB 1310 can only go toward infrastructure and public safety purposes.

SB 1310 now heads to the full Senate for a vote.