Hot Springs panhandling ban repealed
HOT SPRINGS — The Hot Springs Board of Directors has repealed the panhandling ordinance that has been challenged in federal court.
But an attorney for the plaintiff said the lawsuit will remain pending the outcome of a replacement ordinance that will go before the board.
On Tuesday, the board unanimously repealed the ordinance it adopted in September in response to an influx of panhandlers soliciting money from motorists at busy intersections last summer.
American Civil Liberties Union attorney Bettina Brownstein said she wants to see the replacement ordinance before she commits to dropping the lawsuit filed on behalf of Michael Rodgers, who was jailed and fined after holding up a sign asking for money. In the interim, she said, negotiations with Arkansas Municipal League Attorney Michael Mosely are ongoing.
The Rogers City Council repealed that city’s panhandling ordinance last month and replaced it with one that prohibits pedestrians from approaching a vehicle that is in operation on a public street. Fort Smith also replaced its panhandling ordinance with a similar measure.