Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel recently vowed to collect back-debt on parking and red-light tickets from residents in order to pay for summer programs for children and police, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Emanuel noted that amounts owed could be spread out over monthly payments for as long as a year, the news source states in a separate article. However, to qualify for a payment plan, debtors must already be eligible for one of the city's low-income programs. "There is economic hardship out there, and we want to be cognizant and sensitive to that," said city comptroller Amer Ahmad. "This ordinance allows us to provide greater debt collection
flexibility while improving revenue to the city." The city intends to collect at least $2.5 million to be placed toward initiatives like the Summer Youth Employment Program and After School Matters' summer apprentice and internship program. What's more, additional funds would go toward the Park District to increase slots available for summer programs such as day camp, soccer and video and digital art classes. Emanuel also hopes to collect $2 million to add 50 additional cadets to a Chicago's police academy class in June, bringing the total number to 150.