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Government & Politics

Summit County Revamps Panhandling Law

photo of panhandling
A civil rights group is pleased with Summit County Council's decision to repeal a panhandling ban in certain townships.

A Civil Rights group is pleased with a new panhandling law passed this week by Summit County Council. The American Civil Liberties Union had been fighting the county’s previous law that banned panhandling in townships.

ACLU attorney Joseph Mead says the law violated First Amendment free speech rights.

"It’s counterproductive to attempt to criminalize their expressions of need, giving someone a ticket or charging them for an offense does not solve the underlying problem of poverty," Mead said.

The new county ordinance states that panhandlers must not interfere with traffic, or touch a person or their property without consent.