Flagstaff adopting new ordinance against begging

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The Flagstaff City Council has given initial approval to an anti-panhandling ordinance to prohibit so-called “aggressive” solicitation near certain locations and under some circumstances.

The Arizona Daily Sun (http://bit.ly/1fMNg5f ) reports that the ordinance would prohibit panhandling within 15 feet of a bank, ATM, bus stop or a business. It also would ban following someone and continuing to ask for money after the person refused.

An initial violation would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail.

City officials proposed the ordinance a federal judge ruled that a state law prohibiting handling violates a person’s constitutional rights to free speech.

According to city officials, the new law targets conduct, not speech.

The council took its initial vote Tuesday. A second and final vote is set for April 15.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Sun, http://www.azdailysun.com/

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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