Full Council to Hear Solicitation Ban

Oct 22, 2013

A proposal to stop panhandlers and other people from seeking money on Baltimore City streets is moving forward.

A city council committee voted 3-2 Tuesday to send the measure, which would prohibit anyone from asking for money while in a lane divider, shoulder or roadway, to the full council for consideration at its Nov. 4 meeting.

The committee added a “Whereas” statement outlining the city’s concern for public safety at the suggestion of city lawyers, who said it would put the bill on constitutionally safer ground.

Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said she understands the concerns of those who support the bill but it called too vague and hard to enforce.

“I don’t want bills that cannot be enforced and I don’t want people subject to laws that are vague and they may not understand,” said Clarke.

This is the third time the bill has appeared before the committee since Councilwoman Rikki Spector introduced it in January. The committee adjourned two previous hearings to allow time for more study.