City council takes 1st step to repeal anti-begging law
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A city council in western Iowa is moving toward repealing a 40-year-old law against begging that the city attorney says probably has never been enforced.
The Council Bluffs City Council voted Monday for the repeal. City Attorney Richard Wade told The Daily Nonpareil that repealing it requires two more readings and votes by council members, who likely will waive the third vote.
In August the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa sent letters to Council Bluffs and other Iowa cities, asking for repeals. The ACLU legal director, Rita Bettis Austen, says the ordinance is unconstitutional, “because the First Amendment protects the right of people to express their needs and ask for help.”
Wade said Tuesday that, to the best of his knowledge, the ordinance has never been enforced in Council Bluffs.
Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, http://www.nonpareilonline.com