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Chicago City Council April 2014 2

Ella Sonja West/ MEDILL

Aldermen Ray Suarez (31st ward), left, and Bob Fioretti (2nd ward), right, discuss pending legislation.


Busy day at City Council: pet-coke crackdown, plastic bag ban, Sunday liquor sales ordinances passed

by Ella Sonja West
April 30, 2014


Sunday morning liquor sales, a plastic bag ban and a pet-coke crack down were all approved by the Chicago City Council Wednesday.

A vote on the ride-share bill was put off until next meeting, though the Illinois General Assembly may decide the case in May.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel highlighted the legislation as moving Chicago toward a greener economy; the partial plastic bag ban passed 36-10, and the pet-coke regulation that passed on committee approval. “We’ve debated it a long time,”

Mayor Emanuel said. “[In the past] we have allowed our politics to stand in the way, but we’ve finally addressed these issues, had healthy debate and moved forward.”

The mayor addressed critiques that the new pet-coke law doesn’t go far enough, saying “We just can’t ban it.” He defended the ordinance, which prohibits the construction of new sites and places stricter regulations on the three existing plants, saying that, “The facilities that exist will have a number of steps taken to make it cost-prohibitive, in my view, to operate.”

He also rejected the argument that the plastic bag ban would cost consumers more money. “They already pass the cost on to the consumer,” he said. He went on to talk about the expense of the clean up shouldered by the city.

The mayor and Council members also congratulated the Chicago Public Schools for an increase in graduation rates, which are projected to rise to 82 percent.

The mayor did not respond to a memo that circulated during the city council meeting calling for a public hearing on how crimes are classified and reported by the Chicago Police Department. The proposed hearings would require Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Inspector General Joe Ferguson of the Office of the inspector General to answer questions detailing CPD practices. The hearing would be open to the public.