March 11, 2020

Bill Further Restricts Panhandling

The Indiana Statehouse - FILE PHOTO: Doug Jaggers/WFYI

The Indiana Statehouse

FILE PHOTO: Doug Jaggers/WFYI

A bill that further criminalizes panhandling awaits the governor’s signature. 

Both Indiana chambers passed the bill that would make it a misdemeanor to ask for money within 50 feet of any place where financial transactions are made, including parking meters. That effectively bans panhandling in downtown Indianapolis.

Supporters of the bill say aggressive panhandling is the biggest complaint they hear about Indianapolis from visitors. 

The new law could face legal challenges. The Indiana ACLU says the measure is unconstitutional. 

Indianapolis public safety officials say they will work with law enforcement to assess the impact of the new measure. Police enforced the current law less than 10 times last year.

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