Bill Would Allow Charity Groups to “Sidestep” Panhandling Laws
An interesting bill is making it's way through the state legislature, it's House Bill (HB) 2911.
Most cities in WA state have ordinances preventing panhandlers or begging on street corners, near public roads or by ATM's. Not all, but many. Kennewick and other cities don't ban it everywhere due to a Supreme Court decision three years ago that repealed that ban. But they and other cities have ordinances that prevent panhandling in areas considered to be unsafe for pedestrians or people due to traffic. Kind of ambiguous.
This bill would allows non profit or charity groups to stage events in these previously prohibited areas, if they obtain a permit from city officials, and meet the non profit criteria.
This caught our attention with what will be the return of the many car washes and other similar events staged by everybody from church groups to softball and baseball teams in the Tri-Cities.
Our panhandling laws are not as strict as some communities, but this would remove (if it passes) any such restrictions from these groups staging fund raising events.
The bill has not yet made it to the committee phase. To see a 'understandable' synopsis of the bill, click on the button below.