Bakersfield City Council discussed aggressive panhandling ordinance, challenges, benefits

Would apply to groups selling or raising money

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Bakersfield City Council discussed an ordinance Wednesday that covers aggressive panhandling.

The City Attorney said at the City Council meeting that the ordinance would include groups like the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, Green Peace, religious charities, if they were aggressive in their fundraising, but not the fire department's "Fill the Boot" campaign.

Supporters say the panhandling in downtown areas is out of control, and drives people away from businesses.

The proposed ordinance is controversial because it will be difficult for police to enforce.

The City Council agreed to have the first reading of the ordinance, which is the first step to passage.

The second reading will be in the May City Council meeting. If approved, the ordinance would go into effect 10 days later.

READ RELATED | City Council considers making panhandling and 'aggressive' soliciting a crime

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