2 Arkansas cities face lawsuits over panhandling ordinances

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - Two Arkansas cities are working to address their panhandling ordinances after receiving lawsuits from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The suits argue banning panhandlers from soliciting donations from people in public areas violate freedom of speech rights.

City leaders in Hot Springs are now working with the ACLU to resolve the issue, while Fort Smith has repealed and replaced its ordinance.

Holly Dickson is the legal director of the ACLU of Arkansas. She says ACLU's suit filed against Hot Springs last month would be dropped if the city repeals its ordinance.

In Fort Smith, the city's new ordinance bans anyone not in a vehicle from occupying any portion of a roadway within any public street right of way except at crosswalks and bus stops.

 

© 2017 Associated Press


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