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State Fair Officials: Can't Follow State Law Due To Budget Cuts

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  Illinois' two state fairs did not comply with the law last year, according to a recent state audit -- and budget realities mean that'll happen again this summer.

The audit found that both the fairs in Springfield and DuQuoin overcharged entrance fees for horses.

But the Department of Agriculture says it's a consequence of the state contributing 200-thousand dollars $200,000 less toward the purse.

The audit also found that the DuQuoin fair only held three out of the five prescribed days of horse racing.

The department of ag's Jeff Squibb, says that, too, is a casualty of budget cuts. He says in 2010, DuQuoin cut its biggest horse racing event, known as the World Trotting Derby.

"When that race was no longer held, the number of horses that were entered into DuQuoin races began to decline and quite simply, today there are not enough horses to fill up five full days of racing."

Squibb says the DuQuoin fair, which is scheduled for Aug. 22-Sept. 1, will again have only three days this year.

The Illinois State Fair takes place Aug. 7-17 in Springfield.

Hannah covers state government and politics for NPR Illinois and Illinois Public Radio. She's been dedicated to the statehouse beat since interning at NPR Illinois in 2014, with subsequent stops at outlets including WILL-AM/FM, Law360, The Daily Line and a temporary stint at political blog Capitol Fax before returning to the station in 2020.
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