Battle Creek considers outlawing panhandling, loitering

Cracking Down on Panhandling

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — Battle Creek city commissioners are scheduled to cast final votes Tuesday on ordinances aimed to regulating panhandling and loitering.

The proposals would outlaw remaining “idly” within 25 feet of an intersection and soliciting money from anyone waiting in line or near building entrances. Last month five commissioners voted in favor of the ordinances and four dissented.

The proposals have led to debate about whether laws are needed to protect those who feel threatened by panhandlers and whether such laws are constitutional.

Federal court rulings have found bans on begging violate the First Amendment. The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sent a letter to city officials arguing the proposals “would not survive constitutional scrutiny.” City attorneys say those issues have been addressed.

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  • Bob

    I sure wish they would outlaw it here. I can’t go out for a walk or bike ride without be hit up for money. I am thinking about getting a shirt that says

    “Do I Look Like Santa Callus to you”
    Get A JOB

  • Jay

    I don’t feel we need to be locking these people up but this is become a pretty big deal here in Grand Rapids I personally know that most of these people holding signs are not interested in having a job whatsoever it’s the same face on the same corner everyday Most of these panhandlers are standing in front of businesses that have help-wanted signs in the window but when I talk to the business owners that this is happening most all have offered them jobs but they refuse because they make more money doing what they’re doing People need to stop feeding the fire if we stopped giving them money they would not be doing it so we don’t need new laws to fix this problem STOP GIVING Your HARD EARNED MONEY AWAY

  • Jake

    They need to do that here in Kalamazoo. A guy i had seen everyday on 9th street and 94. (you probably seen him) he holds a sign saying “veteran needs money for a bus ticket to go back home”. This guy moves all over kzoo. He was just a few days ago over at sprinkle rd and bus loop of 94. anyways hes had that same sign for over a year now. He actually drives a car a ford. I forget the model. He lives near 9th i think. I had seen him many times coming out of the hotel there near cracker barrow