Springfield, Ill. (AP) -- The Illinois House is approving an increase in physicians' license fees.
The 65-49 vote Thursday would make a three-year license fee $700 -- up from $300.
The measure goes to Gov. Pat Quinn -- who supports it.
Officials say the increase is necessary to bail out the medical unit of the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
The unit licenses doctors and investigates medical wrongdoing.
But a deficit forced the department to cut half the unit's staff last month.
The fee increase would repay a $6.6 million loan used to rehire staff. It would drop to $500 in 2018.
Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie -- a Chicago Democrat -- says the higher fee would guarantee the unit's financial stability through 2027.
The bill is SB622.
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