- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Lincoln council members have approved a new ordinance that will require all outdoor clothing-donation boxes and huts to list the names of every nonprofit organization and private company that benefits, monetarily or otherwise.

The disclosure ordinance adopted Monday is aimed at providing some information without violating the First Amendment rights of the companies or nonprofits, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (https://bit.ly/1m4QPuV ).

The new ordinance’s disclosure requirement will put the issue to rest and let the council move ahead, Councilman Trent Fellers said.

Last May the council banned for-profit donation boxes after Linc-Drop Inc. placed about 70 donation huts in Lincoln. That ordinance would have required that at least 80 percent of gross proceeds from donation huts go to a charity. Other charities backed the ban, saying people were being misled about how much of their donations were going to the charity and that none of the donated clothing remained in Lincoln.

Linc-Drop contracts with the local March of Dimes to collect clothing and gives the chapter 10 percent of the huts’ gross revenue.

Linc-Drop sued the city and various officials in July, saying its rights had been violated. Unless the court acts, Linc-Drop said in a subsequent filing, “Linc-Drop will be prevented from engaging in constitutionally protected speech and other activities, which will have a chilling effect on the speech of Linc-Drop and others.”

In February a federal judge said the lawsuit likely would succeed and barred the city from enforcing the initial ordinance.

Linc-Drop’s lawyers didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment on Tuesday.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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