Yakima City Council considering legal responses to panhandling - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima City Council considering legal responses to panhandling

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YAKIMA, Wash. - The growing concern of panhandling will once again go before city council this week when city attorneys present potential responses to the issue.

City leaders announced Monday at their media briefing that they would revisit the topic with the help of the legal department after continued complaints from the business community.

Cynthia Martinez is senior assistant city attorney for the City of Yakima. She says communities across the country are facing this issue and it suggests there has been growth in downtown over the past few years.

"This problem is happening all across the United States," she said. "It is an indicator of Yakima's prosperity."

Panhandling is considered a form of free speech but it can be regulated for time, space, and manner. Martinez says the legal department will present some options to the council on how they can police panhandlers for those three categories.

Yakima City Council will meet Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. inside council chambers at city hall.