Montgomery delegation delays vote on roadside solicitation
Lawmakers expected to weigh in on panhandling ban on March 11
Montgomery County's delegation in Annapolis delayed a vote today on legislation that would allow the county to require panhandlers and others to have a permit to solicit money at intersections.
The delegation is expected to vote on the bill March 11.
At issue is whether the delegation will include an amendment allowing the council to implement either the permitting system or an outright ban on roadside solicitation.
The County Council favors a ban, while County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) is seeking a permitting system for beggars and those who sell items or raise money for charity through roadside solicitation.
Both have said the practice is unsafe.
Del. C. William Frick (D-Dist. 16) of Bethesda proposed the delay, known as "special ordering" the bill, saying that he wanted to wait for Del. Anne R. Kaiser (D-Dist. 14) of Burtonsville before taking a vote.
Kaiser was not at the delegation meeting today.
Kaiser was part of a task force that released a report last month on roadside solicitation in Montgomery County.
John Sparks, president of the Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 1664, said he asked that a vote on the bill be delayed so that he could continue to talk with lawmakers about the harm it would do to the union's "fill the boot" fundraiser.
The union raises money annually for the Muscular Dystrophy Association by soliciting donations from drivers at intersections. Last year, the group raised $240,000 for local families.
Sparks said the union supports a permitting system, but that an outright ban would reduce how much they would be able to raise.