Utah House approves panhandling restrictions

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The Utah House has advanced a bill restricting panhandling on or near highways such as shoulders and off-ramps.

House lawmakers voted 51-22 Monday to approve the measure. It advances to the Senate for consideration.

Bountiful Republican Rep. Jim Nielson sponsors the bill and says panhandling can impede traffic and create safety issues.

His bill also restricts activities such as “Fill the Boot” fundraisers used by firefighters and “honk-and-wave” events by political candidates.

Nielson says those activities would still be protected if they occur on a sidewalk.

The bill also restricts panhandling “in an aggressive manner” within 10 feet of an ATM or bank entrance.

The bill’s opponents argue it may infringe on the right of people to demonstrate or other activities protected by the First Amendment.

Online:

HB 101: http://1.usa.gov/1m9UEQm

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