- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 8, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) - Several Springfield residents have spoken out against a proposal to ban panhandling on public roadways.

The Register-Guard reports (http://bit.ly/24On2v7 ) that the ban has earned the support of most city councilors, who argue that the restriction would improve public safety.

But nine of 10 speakers at a public hearing Monday said they oppose the regulation. They called it an unnecessary violation of free expression and worried that it could make the city vulnerable to lawsuits.

The ordinance would fine drivers and passengers up to $50 for giving someone money or property while a car is on the road within city limits. Springfield Police Chief Tim Doney says it has been modified from the original version, which would have fined panhandlers. Now, only people who pay panhandlers will be fined.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

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