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Bill for parking fees at Starved Rock SP is dead in the water: By one vote

Looking downriver at Plum Island from Starved Rock at Starved Rock State Park; SB1310, to allow parking fees, was defeated Thursday in the Senate.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

The bill for parking fees at Starved Rock State Park died in the Illinois Senate Thursday, by one vote.

SB1310, sponsored by Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris), would have allowed the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to have parking fees at Starved Rock SP, the most visited park in Illinois.

Part of the reason for it dying–the exclussion of LaSalle County residents from paying–is legit.

But I think we need to have a broader-based discussion on park fees and hammer it out as a state-wide issue, not just for Starved Rock SP.

Click here for the progression of SB1310 and a fuller description.

Here is the explanation from Rezin’s spokeswoman Ellie Leonard:

Starved Rock parking fee bill re-called, again fails one vote short

Springfield, IL… On Thursday, April 11, State Senator Sue Rezin’s hard fought effort to provide more funding to Starved Rock State Park fell one vote short, yet again, from making it out of the Illinois Senate. Senate Bill 1310 would have allowed the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to charge a minimal parking fee at the state park.

Senate Bill 1310 was originally called for a Senate vote on Wednesday, April 10, but concerns over the provision to exempt LaSalle County residents from paying the fee prohibited the bill from passing. Senate procedural rules allowed Sen. Rezin to re-call the bill, giving it another chance at passing. However, Rezin was still unable to gather up enough support to move the bill over to the House.

“This bill was something that I was extremely passionate about as we continue to see Starved Rock struggle to keep up with the maintenance required from such a large number of visitors,” said Sen. Rezin. “While we are so lucky and fortunate to have this treasure in our backyard, it’s also important that we do what we can to keep it both beautiful and safe for future visitors.”

Thursday’s vote on SB 1310 was 29-8-1.