Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Governor Rauner Releases 2018 Illinois Department of Natural Resource Budget

Governor Rauner Releases 2018 Illinois Department of Natural Resource Budget

Images property of IDNR and
Office of Management and Budget
A majority of Illinois hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts would agree with the statement that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has seen better days.  Today Governor Rauner released his 2018 proposed budget for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  While the state and the IDNR have been without a budget for 20 months, the lack of financial resources for the IDNR goes back over a decade.

Illinois has 1.31 million hunters and anglers, about 1/12 th of the population of Illinois or over 100,000 people per county.  You're talking about billions of dollars and thousands of jobs hunters and anglers are responsible for each year. More focus needs to be put on our natural resources so that our kids and grandchildren can experience what Illinois has to offer.

The Governor's proposed budget is broken down by agency and line item.On page 280 of the Fiscal Year 2018 Operating Budget you'll see line items for the entire Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  
The recommended fiscal year 2018 budget of $290.7 million will support DNR operations at all state parks, the Illinois state museums in Springfield, Lockport and Dickson Mounds, and the World Shooting Complex in Sparta (pg 286). Hunting and fishing license fees will remain at fiscal year 2017 levels and Illinois will continue multi-state efforts to conserve the monarch butterfly from its federally threatened or endangered species status. 
The fiscal year 2018 budget also recommends the Historic Preservation Agency (HPA) merge with DNR to consolidate the administration of state historic sites and monuments within one agency. By positioning HPA administration within DNR, core competencies will be centralized. The merger, which includes $9.2 million in new appropriation authority for DNR, is anticipated to result in $3.2 million in savings to ensure the continued collection and preservation of state historic resources. 
We are reviewing this further and will keep you up to date as more budget information comes through. Also, the most important thing to remember is that this just a proposal. Nothing has been approved by the legislature or enacted yet.

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe

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