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Quinn Approves $2 Hike for License Sticker Fees

The increase will bring the cost for a license plate to $101

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    The cost of license plates stickers will increase by $2 next year thanks to a new bill signed by Gov. Pat Quinn.

    Quinn approved the surcharge, which brings the cost for a license plate to $101, on Friday to help repair and maintain state parks. The money will go to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

    The new registration fees go into effect Jan. 1. But a spokesman for Secretary of State Jesse White, who opposed the registration fee increase, said Illinois drivers renewing basic license plate registration will not have to worry about the hike until March at the earliest.

    The agency says the fee could raise as much as $20 million annually toward a $750 million repair backlog. That figure could grow to $35 million annually with other new recreational and fishing fees.

    A decade worth of cuts has hurt the Illinois Department of Natural Resources staffing levels, forcing fewer people to do more jobs with mostly poor results.

    Last month, the Senate passed the bill -- SB1566 -- on a 39 to 11 vote after it failed in the chamber in June. It had passed the House of Representatives earlier in the year.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.