Proposal that could limit panhandling back up for discussion

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A proposal that would limit panhandling in Kansas City was back up for discussion Thursday at City Hall.

Councilwoman Jolie Justus had been working on changes to the proposal after the initial version sparked some controversy.

The proposal would forbid anyone from standing at street corners or exit ramps longer than the time it takes to safely cross the street, which would make it nearly impossible for people to stand in those locations to ask drivers for money.

The penalty for violating the new ordinance would be a fine between $1 and $500, or up to six months in jail.

The proposal doesn’t specifically mention panhandling, but drew concern since panhandling is legal.

The idea was contrived after the city received numerous complaints about panhandling.

The ordinance would also impact people such as firefighters out doing a boot drive, or others who stand on corners to raise money for charities.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted to send the ordinance to the full City Council with the recommendation of "do not pass." Each member of the City Council must vote to pass the ordinance before it can become law. 

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