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Citrus Heights Approves Panhandling Ban

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, July 23, 2010
The City Council Thursday night approved an ordinance making it illegal to panhandle at intersections, median strips, gas stations and automatic teller machines.

Before the vote, City Councilman Steve Miller said the ordinance doesn't mean all panhandling will be outlawed.

"You know, it's there but for the grace of God, you know there's sometimes I just feel so blessed that I don't have to go out and beg for money. We're not banning, we're just setting restrictions on the time and place that panhandling can occur. And in the median that's a foot wide with cars going 40 miles an hour is not the time and place."

Citrus Heights police say public complaints about aggressive panhandling have gone up 70% in the past year.

Homeless advocates are critical of the ordinance. They say it criminalizes poor people.

The new ordinance is expected to go into effect in late August.
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