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City of Yakima Looking for Answers on How to Handle Panhandlers

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What can the city of Yakima do to control panhandling on street corners? City Attorney Jeff Cutter says he is looking closely at what others cities are doing and getting ready for a June 18 public hearing in Yakima to talk about the issue.

Cutter says before Yakima can take any action the City Council needs to hear from the public why the panhandling needs to be restricted. Cutter says panhandling can not be restricted simply because it looks bad or because it is disliked. “We need to determine that there is a public safety or health concern that would rise to a level that the courts would allow us to further restrict that activity.” A hearing on the panhandling issue is set for 6:00 p.m. on June 18 at Yakima City Hall.

Currently the city does have an ordinance on panhandling but it only bars aggressive panhandling in area parking lots.

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