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SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake City leaders are considering a new proposal that would crack down on panhandlers. The proposed ordinance would limit how and where panhandlers can operate.
Under the proposal, it would be illegal to lie about being homeless, disabled, a veteran or stranded. Panhandling also would be banned within 20 feet of sidewalk cafes, bus stops, ATMs, entrances to some religious establishments and places where people stand in line for things like movies and concerts.
Advocates for Utahns living in poverty already are questioning the ramifications and don't know how such a law would be enforced. Bill Tibbitts told the Deseret News the proposal seems like a way to tell the homeless to move along rather than help them find housing.
The Downtown Alliance is planning to roll out a campaign against panhandling next month. That group's executive director says most panhandlers are not actually homeless.
The new proposal is still in the draft stage. Mayor Ralph Becker's chief of staff, David Everitt, tells the Deseret News he expects the ordinance to be significantly changed by public input.