Alabama council pushes stricter penalties for panhandling
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama city council has approved an ordinance to strengthen enforcement against panhandlers.
News outlets report the Montgomery City Council passed the ordinance proposed by Councilman Arch Lee unanimously by a vote of 9-0 Tuesday.
Lee says aggressive panhandling is a problem plaguing every district of the city.
The ordinance is separate from a state law that's already in place. It defines panhandling and includes city streets and public places the state law doesn't include.
First offenses will be met with a fine and a minimum of two days in jail, unless suspended by a judge. Subsequent sentences cannot be suspended and jail time increases with each violation.
City officials say it will likely be a few weeks before the ordinance is enforced.