Montgomery backs off jail time for helping panhandlers

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The city council in Montgomery, Alabama, has rejected a proposal to punish people who give cash to panhandlers with jail time.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports their vote was unanimous after protesters packed a city council meeting on Tuesday night. Many wore stickers declaring “poverty is not a crime.” One man held a sign saying “Jesus was a panhandler.”

The amendment would’ve criminalized passing money or objects through car windows to someone on a public road. It was tacked onto an ordinance that requires panhandlers be jailed for at least two days. That ordinance still stands. It was unanimously passed in July but has yet to be enforced or signed by Mayor Todd Strange, who’s in the final days of his term. Mayor-elect Steven Reed takes over the office on Nov. 12.

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Information from: Montgomery Advertiser, http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com

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