Sarasota passes new ban on panhandling
SARASOTA - A new panhandling ordinance in the city will keep people asking for money off certain street corners. The American Civil Liberties Union is questioning the constitutionality of the law approved by city commissioners on Tuesday. The ACLU sued the city and filed an injunction over the previous panhandling ordinance. The injunction has lifted and the new ordinance takes effect Monday. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports City Attorney Bob Fournier says the ordinance is similar to one in place in St. Petersburg. He says that ordinance has withstood legal challenge.Fournier made a few changes after talking to Michael Barfield, the legal chairman of the local ACLU chapter. He limited the ban on roadside panhandling to some major streets. Advertisers are allowed to hold signs in the median.