SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The Illinois Senate has approved a measure to raise physicians' licensing fees to $700 to help the state rehire staff that license and investigate doctors.
The Senate voted 38-19 Thursday. Doctors currently pay $300 for the three-year permit, but the fee hasn't increased since 1987.
Financial woes forced the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to cut more than half of the staff in its medical unit.
The proposal allows the department to borrow $6.6 million from a tax fund to rehire 15 staffers for its medical unit. The fee increase would be used to pay back the loan.
The proposed fee increase would last through June 2018, when fee costs would go down to $500.
The bill now moves to the House.
The bill is SB622