Seattle Council approves aggressive panhandling law

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by KING5.com

NWCN.com

Posted on April 19, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 19 at 6:42 PM

SEATTLE - The Seattle City Council on Monday voted 5-4 to pass an ordinance to crack down on aggressive panhandlers.

The new ordinance lays down strict behavior rules for beggars: No panhandling at ATMs or at parking stations, no blocking a person's path or repeatedly begging after someone has already said no.

"It does not ban panhandling at any time or any place. It does not violate free speech rights and it certainly does not criminalize the homless," said Public Safety and Education Chair Tim Burgess, the sponsor of the ordinance.

The Council says an education campaign will be conducted by the police to inform people on the street about the new law before it takes effect.

Mayor Mike McGinn says he'll veto the law. He has 10 days to do that. Then it goes back to the Council for another vote. They need six yes votes to over-ride the mayors veto.

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