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City Council Approves Increased Penalties For ‘Quality Of Life’ Crimes

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – The City Council has approved a crackdown on people who blatantly violate the laws on some key quality of life issues.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports aldermen approved an ordinance doubling the maximum fines for drinking, gambling, and urinating in public. The new fines would be $1,000 for drinking and urinating on the public way, and $400 for gambling.

Violators who fail to appear at administrative hearings and don’t pay fines could face up to six months in jail.

Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) supported the ordinance at Wednesday’s council meeting, but warned his colleagues to make sure things don’t go too far.

“Are we going to issue municipal warrants? Are they going to go for I-bonds? Are they going to be in prison until x-number of days because they can’t make bond in the first place?” he said. “I don’t know if the ordinance, in and of itself, was as well thought-out.”

Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) applauded the ordinance.

“The gambling, the loitering; these are all issues that are impacting us,” he said. “For people to have reckless disregard in a community, and then reckless disregard for the process that has been set up, I think leads us to a point where it’s not respected.”

Some aldermen worried the fines would be too high for low-income violators.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the council gave final approval to year-round city vehicle sticker sales and new parking garage tax rates.