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Worcester Approves Plan to Curb Panhandling

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WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — The Worcester City Council has given gave preliminary approval to ordinances that would ban so-called “aggressive panhandling,” or people who ask for money while walking in and out of traffic or while standing on traffic islands at busy intersections.

The council by an 8-2 vote on Tuesday also put an end to “tag days,” a practice in which representatives of charities and youth sports groups solicit donations from motorists at intersections.

Supporters say they are about public safety and are not meant to infringe on constitutional free speech rights.

Opponents argue that the ordinances are nothing than a Band-Aid approach to addressing the root causes of panhandling and homelessness.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that the item will come back before the council for a final vote Jan. 29.

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Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), http://www.telegram.com


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