June 4, 2014 at 7:13 am

Panhandling remains fair game in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids Panhandling remains fair game in Grand Rapids after a vote by members of the city commission.

The Grand Rapids Press reports the 3-3 vote Tuesday came after members of the public urged elected leaders to reject proposed restrictions.

The newspaper says the commission instead will consider a process of extended deliberation to come up with rules that accommodate demand for panhandling restrictions while respecting the humanity of people driven to beg for money.

Federal courts have ruled that panhandling is a First Amendment right. But some communities have enacted local ordinances to limit the practice. Grand Rapids modeled its proposal on an ordinance in the neighboring community of Kentwood.