Revised panhandling ordinance goes back to City Council for approval

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- The panhandling ordinance is revised to only prohibit aggressive solicitation and will go back to City Council for approval Tuesday night.

The ordinance was supposed to go into effect on January 2, but lasted less than 24 hours before a judge issued an injunction on it.

Astrid Case lives in Boise and said she was attacked after she told a man she didn't have any money for him.

"It should not happen, I have the right to go to an ATM to get the money that I have, to get the money that I work for and I don't need anybody to assault me by manipulating me and asking 'gimme some money' and if I don't be aggressive," said Case.

The City and other Boiseans are concerned with stopping aggressive solicitation.

"No means no," said Donald Entner, a Boise resident. "If a person says they don't have any money, then they just don't have it."

So what exactly is aggressive solicitation, and what will officers be enforcing if the revised ordinance is approved? It's anything that involves non-consensual physical contact; continues within five feet of a person after they say 'no'; intentionally blocks the passage of someone's pathway; or any threatening statements used to intimidate.

In the revised ordinance, solicitors would still be able to passively ask for money while crossing a road, while standing in front of a bank or ATM, or any public place in the city.

The Mayor's office said if the revised ordinance gets approved, it will go into effect immediately. Police would mainly focus on educating the public on the law first for about the first month or two. But, if officers feel action is needed, the Mayor's office said they will issue tickets right away. The citation for breaking the ordinance would be a misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail.