Indy Panhandler Ordinance Defeated
July 24, 2013 — INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A proposal pushed by the Indianapolis mayor to ban panhandling in the city’s downtown has been tabled by the City-County Council.
Democratic council Vice President John Barth says Tuesday’s decision by a council committee was based on worries about lawsuits over such a ban. Barth says he and others will work with the tourism group Visit Indy to draft an ordinance that could survive legal challenges.
Republican Mayor Greg Ballard has sought a downtown no-solicitation zone prohibiting even passive cup shaking and sign holding. He says he’s disappointed by the council’s action and that his proposal was modeled after laws in other cities that courts have upheld.
Visit Indy spokesman Chris Gahl says some convention organizers have cited panhandling concerns among their reasons for not coming to Indianapolis.