Clark County passes panhandling ordinance

first_imgClark County commissioners Tuesday approved an ordinance explicitly forbidding people from soliciting in streets, following months of discussions and a complete overhaul of what the ordinance originally proposed.The ordinance, which passed with a 3-0 vote, restricts soliciting money from motorists in public roadways. The purpose of the ordinance, which bars individuals from entering the roadway or stopping traffic to solicit money, is to cut down on those types of monetary transactions for safety reasons.“We’re trying to manage a transaction that will take place immediately on a traveled part of the roadway,” said Sgt. Randon Walker of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, who first proposed the ordinance and helped draft it.Drafting a panhandling ordinance stemmed from concerns he’d heard from residents and business owners, Walker said.Shaping an ordinance that would be constitutional took nearly a year of work.Much of an early version of the ordinance was scrapped after the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho successfully challenged the legality of a panhandling ordinance in Boise, Idaho. That ordinance closely mirrored what Clark County proposed. But it was deemed overly broad and a violation of the First Amendment protections in publicly owned areas.The county’s original ordinance restricted solicitation at bank ATMs, in parking lots when people were exiting cars and at bus stops, among other locations that are generally open to the public.last_img

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