Grand Junction Rethinks Panhandling Law
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) – City councilors have unanimously approved changes to their panhandling ordinance after a legal challenge.
The Daily Sentinel reports that at a meeting Wednesday, councilors removed a prohibition on knowingly panhandling from at-risk individuals and near school grounds. It also reduced a no-begging zone around bus stops and automatic tellers from 100 to 20 feet.
Soon after the ordinance was adopted in February, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal suit against the city on behalf of five local residents and a nonprofit group that raises funds on the city’s streets. One of the plaintiffs is described as an “at-risk” person under the ordinance who wishes to continue to receive requests for help. The ACLU says the ordinance places unconstitutionally broad restrictions on speech.
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