- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Memphis City Council has expanded the city’s restrictions on panhandling in high-traffic areas and during rush hours.

Media outlets report that the council voted 9-3 Tuesday for the ordinance, which council member Philip Spinosa Jr. says would make areas popular with beggars - like intersections with traffic signals and construction zones - safer for both drivers and panhandlers.

The ordinance also extends the panhandling ban to between 5 p.m. and 10 a.m., covering the morning and evening rush hours.

Critics of the ordinance, such as president of Homeless Organizing for Power and Equality Toni Whitfield, say it doesn’t address the underlying issues that cause panhandling - like a lack of good jobs.

Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings previously told the council that panhandlers often don’t pay fines.



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