SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- An Illinois Senate committee has approved a measure that would more than double the cost of three-year physicians' license fees to $700.
The Senate Executive Committee passed the proposal Wednesday. Doctors currently pay $300 for the three-year permit. The fee hasn't increased since 1987.
The measure comes after budget constraints forced the Department of Financial and Professional Regulations to lay off more than half of the staff in its medical unit.
The proposal also authorizes the department to borrow $6.6 million to immediately rehire staff.
The proposed fee increase would last through June 2018, when fee costs would go down to $500. The fee raise would pay for the department's loan.
A House committee recently approved a proposal to raise the fee to $250 a year.