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Rapid City Council closer to changing public behavior law

February 21, 2019

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Rapid City has taken another step toward changing a local law that regulates public behavior and safety.

The Rapid City Journal reports that the City Council voted unanimously this week to repeal the city’s “aggressive solicitation” ordinance and replace it with an “unlawful behavior” in public places ordinance. The move will require final passage at the council’s March 4 meeting to take effect.

The proposed change came after the city attorney said existing law violates the constitutional right to free speech.

Some opponents say the city should be focusing on helping people who struggle with housing, unemployment and drugs, not on prosecuting them. They also believe the new ordinance is vague.

Council members say they’re confident it will be enforced only as a last resort.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com