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Holyoke City Council considering new penalties for panhandling

September 10, 2019


22NEWS. NEW AT TEN ANC: THE HOLYOKE CITY COUNCIL IS CONSIDERING AN ORDINANCE TO IMPOSE NEW PENALTIES FOR PANHANDLING. 22NEWS REPORTER HAYLEY CROMBLEHOLME SPOKE WITH RESIDENTS ABOUT THE ONGOING PROBLEM. THE HOLYOKE CITY COUNCIL COULD SOON ADOPT A STATE LAW TO DEAL WITH AGGRESSIVE PANHANDLING AND TICKET SCALPING. UNDER THE PROPOSAL, ANY PERSON WHO SIGNALS OR STOPS VEHICLES ON A PUBLIC WAY TO ASK FOR MONEY COULD FACE A $50 DOLLAR FINE. ONE RESIDENT SAID THAT FINE COULD BE HARSH FOR SOMEONE DEALING WITH FINANCIAL HARDSHIP. HECTOR MARQUEZ: “IF IT’S SOMEBODY WHO IS DOING IT OUT OF THE FACT THAT THEY ARE HOMELESS, IT’S A LOT YES. BUT IF THEY ARE DOING IT STRATEGICALLY, NO”. HOLYOKE’S ORDINANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED THE CITY ADOPT THE STATE LAW, OR BEGIN ENFORCING IT IF THEY DETERMINE ADOPTING IT IS NOT NEEDED. HAYLEY: “EVEN WITH A FIFTY DOLLAR FINE, PEOPLE SAID YOU WOULD STILL FIND PEOPLE ASKING FOR MONEY ON THE SIDES OF THE ROAD IN HOLYOKE”. ONYX ACEVEDO: ” I DON’T THINK IT WOULD. CAUSE STILL, THERE’S A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT STILL KNOW, THEER’S A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT STILL ASK CAUSE THEY REALLY DO NEED IT, AND THEN THERE’S PEOPLE THAT DON’T NEED IT, BUT THEY TEND TO ABUSE THAT”. THE CITY COUNCIL IS SET TO VOTE WHETHER TO ADOPT “SECTION 17-A” OF MASSACHUSETTS STATE LAW TUESDAY NIGHT. IN HOLYOKE HAYLEY

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