Measure to prevent after-hours library visits fails

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – An ordinance that would ban the homeless from visiting the Lincoln Library after hours did not secure enough votes to pass.

In a Tuesday night committee meeting, aldermen and alderwomen voted 5-5 on a measure that would stop anyone from visiting the library between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. A push to see the topic debated at a true city council meeting also ended in a 5-5 split, meaning it isn’t moving past the committee.

Opponents of the proposed ordinance say homeless people need help, such a mental health resources, instead of being pushed away. They also asked where those people would go if they couldn’t be at the library.

“We’re criminalizing poverty and I personally find that repulsive,” said Springfield Alderwoman Kristin DiCenso.

Alderman Chuck Redpath says something needs to be done.

“The amount of people utilizing the library to use it for educational services and for the library services has dwindled because people don’t want to go down there,” Redpath said.

The mayor couldn’t break the tie on the committee vote because tiebreakers are only active in city council meetings.

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