Wildlife Prairie State Park bill moves out of committee

By WEEK Producer

March 13, 2013 Updated Mar 13, 2013 at 10:43 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Wildlife Prairie State Park is one step closer to moving back into private hands.

A bill to transfer ownership of the park from the state to the Friends of Wildlife Prairie Park passed out of An Illinois House Executive Committee on Wednesday.

The park has been in the state's possession since 2000 but it has been hard hit by years of budget cuts to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. In fact, Representative Mike Unes said the park has not received any payments from the state in more than two years.

House Bill 1292 would shift the park's maintenance and management responsibilities to the Friends of Wildlife Prairie Park, relieving the financial burden on the state.

The group would be required to maintain the educational and recreational facilities of the park.

The bill now moves to the full house.

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