Atlanta mayor supports reworked panhandling law - New York News

Atlanta mayor supports reworked panhandling law

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ATLANTA -

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced his support for a reworked panhandling law on Tuesday. The new plan softens the penalty, but supporters say there is still some bite to the law.

Under the amended plan, which was introduced by Councilmembers Keisha Lance Bottoms and Michael Julian Bond on Tuesday, first-offenders will have to perform community service. A second conviction for aggressive panhandling would mean a minimum of 30 days in jail. Upon the third conviction, the violator will serve a minimum of 90 days in jail.

"Getting tough, I think is something that is required," said Bond.

Bond said that he believes enforcement can work to deter aggressive panhandling. He cited an incident years ago when panhandlers were washing car windows as a way to ask for money. Once a repeat offender was locked up for six months, word spread and the problem was alleviated, according to Bond.

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