CHICAGO (CBS) — A City Council panel has backed a proposed ordinance aimed at keeping convicted sex offenders away from children using public libraries.
The City Council Committee on Public Safety unanimously recommended passage of the measure, which would ban registered sex offenders from any sections of public libraries that are reserved primarily for children and teenagers.
Ald. Marty Quinn (13th), who sponsored the measure, previously proposed banning convicted sex offenders from libraries altogether during summer months when there are more children present, but he said the language of the current proposal was worked out with the city’s Law Department.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction. I’ve been at this now for 2 ½ years to protect our children in public places, and to make sure that our rhetoric as a city is consistent with our laws,” he said.
Quinn said he has three young daughters, and the ordinance is about protecting them and children across the city.
“We have to find the balance point with the law, and that’s what I’ve been working on for the last 2 ½ years, is to find that balance point,” he said.
Violators could be kicked out of all library facilities, and have their library privileges suspended, as well as face fines of up to $1,000.
The measure goes to the full City Council, which meets next on Wednesday.