Mayor Lightfoot’s Budget Proposal Includes New Speed Camera Fine

Last week Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduced her 2021 city budget. As usual, there was quite a bit of anticipation, but more so this year due to shortfalls that have come with the Covid-19 pandemic.

One interesting proposal includes a new speed camera fine that would ticket drivers going 6 mph over the speed limit. Speed cameras were originally introduced by pervious mayor, Rahm Emanual. They were implemented with a lot of skepticism despite Emanual’s repeated statements that they were implemented for safety reasons only. He was adamant that they were not a money grab for the city. Lightfoot has stated the same: speeding is “clearly a public safety issue” and stricter speed enforcement was necessary to keep motorists and pedestrians safe. She said “exponentially” more “speed-related accidents and deaths” in 2020 was the justification for the new ticket standard, which would start with a warning followed by a $35 ticket for a repeat offense.

This is interesting as data published by the Chicago Tribune , indicates that so far this year there are 20,000 less car crashes in the city compared to this time last year. There have been 28 more Chicago traffic fatalities this year compared to this time in 2019.

I think it is clear that the mayor is doing everything she can to come up with money for the budget shortfalls. I don’t necessarily blame her. But be aware as you’re driving around the city. There may be a camera tracking you and you may receive a ticket in the mail. Speeding, even slightly, could cost you money.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago car accident attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Chicago Mayor Transfers Defense Of City’s Workers’ Compensation Claims To Private Company

Multiple news outlets, including Crain’s Chicago, reported last week that new Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, has pulled the claims handling of the city’s workers compensation claims away from Alderman Edward Burke and transferred the files to private company Gallagher Basset. Gallagher Basset is often referred to as a Third Party Administrator (“TPA”) that provides claims handling for self-insureds and often larger insurance companies.

Lightfoot’s decision comes after an audit performed by Grant Thorton, concluded “the $100 million-a-year program failed to follow proper industry standards and suffered from “significant control deficiencies and weaknesses that would create an environment” where fraud, waste and abuse could exist. ” It is important to point out that the audit did not specify any specific instances of fraud, but rather the system was open to this type of activity and needed to be operated more efficiently.

This is an interesting turn of events as Alderman Burke was recently indicted by the federal government on charges of attempted extortion of local property developers.

Mayor Lightfoot had the following to say about the audit and transfer of claims to the outside firm: ” Government systems of this magnitude have “no business being operated by a single individual (Burke), with no oversight,” she added. “There’s no point at which Grant Thornton believes this plan was acting anywhere near best industry practices.”

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago work accident or has a Chicago workers’ compensation claim, then call Chicago workers’ comp attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.