How Should Richland Stop the Panhandlers?
Richland city council is debating how to stop panhandling. It's A LOT harder than you'd think.
Pasco's law is really restrictive, but Richland's attorneys say it could violate free speech rules and invite lawsuits.
They like Kennewick's laws, but those could be too lenient.
Here's the problem: unless you want to forbid charity carwashes and fundraisers, or businesses holding signs at street corners, you can't forbid people from asking for money or holding signs at intersections!
Maybe you do want to stop that, but the Constitution may protect those rights!
Richland is in a tight spot: people are panhandling in front of Fred Meyer and Winco. Neither is in front of a busy intersection. Neither is next to an ATM or bank. Neither is directly at the front door to a business.
It's perfectly legal, yet distracts drivers as they turn on to the busy (and dangerous) Wellsian Way and George Washington Way! Plus, those are two "Gateways" to the city off 240.
How would YOU prevent the panhandling?