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State park entrance fees: Illinois’ proposal for entry fees at state parks is seen as a sign of the times

At Starved Rock State Park, Wanda Boggs prepared sandwiches Tuesday on a vast lawn in front of the visitor center as two of her grandchildren huddled in sweaters against a cool breeze. Another grandchild checked their fishing poles along the Illinois River, and other young people peered through telescopes at eagles gliding across the sky.

None of the families paid a penny to get into the park, but that could soon change.

Illinois lawmakers, grasping for any ideas that might brighten Illinois’ dismal financial picture, are considering a proposal to charge entrance fees to state parks for the first time.

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