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Library Fines Likely to Come Up at Budget Hearing

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Budget hearings continue this morning as Chicago aldermen try to find ways to make up a $469-million deficit. One of the suggestions for bringing in more money is expected to come up at today’s hearing. That’s increasing the fines for overdue library books from ten cents a day to twenty. Alderman Ed Smith says there are better ways to raise revenue than increasing fines on overdue books.

SMITH: I don’t think you ought to be so hard on the library that you beat up on people about overdue fines. Just tell people to bring the books back or either pay for it and move on.

Smith says the council doesn’t want to raise taxes to fill the budget gap. Mayor Richard Daley’s budget projects $3.2-million could be raised through the increased fines. He’s also proposed laying off nearly a thousand employees and eliminating some vacant positions.

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