According to the Yakima Herald-Republic,  a lot more intersections will be made off-limits to people begging for money.

Mike Faulk of the Herald reported Monday the City Council is likely to add another 11 intersections to the 15 where it's already a crime.

The city had previously passed an ordinance banning panhandling within 250 feet of the city's 15 busiest intersections. The law doesn't ban someone from just holding a sign on the street corner, or passing out political literature to someone in a car if they request it.  The law refers to any and all attempts to gain money, goods, or services by someone on the corner.  The law has also been strengthened to include excessive, abusive or threatening language or behavior.   The first offense carries a $95-dollar fine.

Abusive or aggressive language and behavior by a panhandler is now considered a misdemeanor.

The first such ban came about after 56-year-old Douglas D. Budd, a well-known panhandler, was found dead in his car in the Taco Bell parking lot on East Yakima Avenue January 1, 2013.   Police found  $1,750 in cash and a half-pound of heroin in his car.  Authorities say many panhandlers were begging for money to be used for drugs, and were also loitering in the areas looking for potential dealers to buy from.

The expansion of the ban came after three men were arrested for loitering with the intent to purchase drugs near the intersection of North 40th and Powerhouse Road in April of this year.

While similar incidents have not been reported in the Tri-Cities, stories such as these have prompted many Tri-Citians to pressure their leaders to enact similar widespread bans on panhandling.   Motorists and citizens have often complained about increasingly aggressive, threatening, and rude behavior by those begging for money on street corners.

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