There was no mention of fees for state parks in Gov. Blagojevich's budget address today. The rest of the budget proposal as related to the IDNR will take some sorting out, because there's juggling going on with personnel.
The governor's people are giving it their spin. This came from Chris McCloud, spokesman for the INDR.
``The agency's over all budget is increasing by 4.9 percent.''
This gives me pause, since Blagojevich plainly proposed
``across-the-board cuts in state government, with the exception of healthcare, education and public safety activities.''
``We are transferring the Surveys out of DNR and they will now operate under the University of Illinois, so that cost and 200 employees salaries have been taken out of DNR's budget. I just don't want you to get the wrong idea if you see our headcount is decreasing by 200. They are not being laid off.''
I need to hear from people within the department to hear what other juggling is planned, beside moving the Surveys to the U of I.
As luck and timing would have it, I am to discuss DNR issues at a rare speaking engagement at the Fish Tales fishing club meeting at the Bremen Township Building, 15350 South Oak Park Ave., Oak Forest at 7 p.m. Thursday. It's $5 for non-members.