Madison passes panhandling ordinance

Madison passes panhandling ordinance

Madison’s Common Council has passed a controversial panhandling ordinance after a marathon meeting.

It bans panhandling in dozens of busy traffic spots across the city. The council’s meeting lasted through the night and into Wednesday morning when the ordinance passed 12-8.

Mayor Paul Soglin told the council the he has long believed that it’s unsafe to let anyone, even firefighters with boots, ask for money at busy intersections. Soglin says the best thing to do for those in need is support the city’s housing initiatives.

Alderwoman Amanda Hall said the ordinance discriminates against those most in need.

Soglin said in the months ahead, the city will roll out an education campaign and staff members will visit the critical intersections to explain the new ordinance.

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