IL DNR Budget Cuts Could Close Department

March 05, 2012

Governor Pat Quinn's proposed budget cuts to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are so severe, the agency's chief of staff says it's on the brink of closing.

Jay Curtis says in the past decade the department's budget shrunk from $106 million dollars to $45 million. And Curtis says in that ten years the agency has lost over half its employees.

"It's hard to operate an agency when that happens," he said. "We're one of the broadest in scope of all agencies in the state. We affect people's lives everywhere in the state. We own property and we have a presence in every county in the state."

Quinn wants to reduce D-N-R's budget this year by 13.5 percent. The agency will stop producing is monthly magazine, "Outdoor Illinois."

But Director Marc Miller has promised that parks will not be closed.

At least one legislator is suggesting fees to enter state parks as another way to supplement the department's shrinking budget.

Story source: AP