Chicago's City Council on Wednesday approved an ordinance that spikes the fines for drivers found to be misusing disability placards.
The new measure grants police the authority to impound cars and carries fines up to $4,000.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the move "necessary."
"I think it's a clarity that I think needed to be done and I'm glad the City Council moved with that," he said.
Meanwhile, Emanuel said his office was continuing to review the contract the previous administration made to privatize the city's parking meters.
Chicago Parking Meters LLC recently sent the city the massive bill to cover losses from people who used disability placards or license plates to park for free in metered spots between Feb. 28, 2010, and Feb. 28, 2011, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday after an analysis of records.
"We're in the middle of the process. Fraudulent is a different thing than wrong. Fraudulent has an assumption of knowing a conscious act. I'm not at that point at that. What we'll do is we're going to go through that bill appropriately because I don't treat the taxpayers' money as if its dumb money and they're an ATM machine. They are not," he said.