Madison step closer to panhandling ban

Public Safety Commission approves restrictions
Madison step closer to panhandling ban

The city of Madison is one step closer to a panhandling ban.

The Public Safety Commission unanimously approved Mayor Paul Soglin’s proposed restrictions on Tuesday. 

Soglin has said in the past that intoxicated panhandlers are taking police and rescue workers away from their beats and using up valuable resources.

Madison police said there is only one legal spot for panhandling on State Street. That’s in the 500 block near the University Inn. Soglin’s restrictions would eliminate that spot.

“It’s hard to justify what one spot is and one spot isn’t. When it comes to officers, they don’t like writing citations. It’s a negative thing. That’s the challenge we have. I think this will make it much cleaner,” said Capt. Jay Lengfeld of the Madison Police Department.

The proposal heads to the Madison Common Council for review.