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Posted: September 19, 2012 9:05 a.m.

Atlanta mayor: no jail for panhandling

ATLANTA (AP) - The mayor of Atlanta says he plans to veto a new city ordinance that would send aggressive panhandlers to jail for up to six months.

Spokesman Reese McCranie says Mayor Kasim Reed will offer his own plan to crack down on panhandling "in a humane and less punitive way."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://bit.ly/Ua74Zv ) a divided Atlanta City Council voted 9-5 Monday to allow tougher enforcement of the city's commercial solicitation ordinance. The law makes it illegal to block someone's path when asking them for money. But authorities say the ordinance is rarely enforced.

Advocates for the homeless say such laws victimize the needy. Others say people asking for money on Atlanta streets can be too pushy or even verbally abusive.

 

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