Rhode Island lawmaker proposes a new anti-panhandling bill
CRANSTON, R.I. (WJAR) —
Rhode Island State Rep. Charlene Lima has proposed a new anti-panhandling bill. The bill would prohibit drivers in Rhode Island from giving to panhandlers in active traffic.
Drivers would have to pull over and park to give to panhandlers legally.
"I'm not trying to abridge a person in needs first amendment right to ask for something. I'm jut trying to prevent a dangerous situation on our roadways which has been a growing problem," said Rep. Lima.
The American Civil Liberties Union argues the proposal in fact, does violate people's rights.
If the bill passes, drivers in Rhode Island will be fined for giving to panhandlers, even if the giving is done at a red light.
Rep. Lima says, "if you're stopped at a red light you're probably at an intersection that's very business and again that's dangerous."
The first offense would come with a seventy-five dollar fine and the second offense would accrue a one-hundred and fifty dollar fine.
The bill will need approval from other house lawmakers, the senate and the governor in order to become law in Rhode Island.