Illinois state parks are starting to see money from a $2 surcharge on Illinois license plate renewals. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is using the money to reduce a $750 million maintenance backlog. Motorists had to start paying the surcharge this year after last year's DNR Sustainability Bill was approved. DNR director Marc Miller says the money going into a dedicated fund. He says half of it goes to operation and maintenance and half goes to capital improvements, like showers, roads and roofs. Miller says the money started coming in this March and it has let him make ``selective hires.'' The department expects to get between $18 million and $22 million a year from the surcharge.
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