Tampa moves to repeal panhandling ban under court challenge

Author: Associated Press
Wiki Commons/ MGN

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Tampa’s city council moved to repeal an ordinance banning solicitation on public roads, a local law whose constitutionality is being challenged in federal court.

The Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/1IKYla3) reports that Thursday’s decision comes about three weeks after the nonprofit group Homeless Helping Homeless sued the city in U.S. District Court, contending that two different Tampa bans on panhandling are unconstitutional and jeopardize its ability to raise money and help its clients.

The second ordinance being challenged by Homeless Helping Homeless was passed in 2013. It bans panhandling in downtown as well as near banks, ATMs, sidewalk cafes and bus or trolley stops. It was intended to curtail behaviors that officials said might make people feel vulnerable or unable to walk away from someone asking for money.

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