Efforts continue in ownership change of Wildlife Park

By Vanessa Johnson

February 8, 2013 Updated Feb 8, 2013 at 11:31 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Efforts are continuing in Springfield to transfer to the ownership of Wildlife Prairie State Park.

State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, (D) 92nd District is a sponsor of House Bill 1292.

The legislation would transfer park ownership from the State to "Friends of Wildlife Prairie Park", a private investment group.

The Illinois Senate passed a similar bill in December, but it was not brought for a House vote before the end of the Lame Duck Session. Meaning the bill had to be reintroduced in the new General Assembly.

Gordon-Booth says the facility's dual functions as a zoo and a park is what makes the bill so complex.

"Part of what we are doing is unprecedented. Anytime you are doing a land acquisition from the State of Illinois back to an private entity you have to insure it is done right. We have to insure that the same insurance that we have in this bill, that if something say in another part of the state, that we keep it consistent," said Gordon-Booth.

Gordon-Booth says she is hopeful to have the bill out of the Illinois House by the end of February.

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