DeLand may outlaw panhandling downtownThe City of DeLand is drafting a new law to regulate panhandling.
In its draft form, the new law draws a distinction between panhandling, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled is a form of free speech, and “aggressive panhandling,” which is defined as panhandling by a group, or panhandling accompanied by profane language, threats or deception.
If adopted by the DeLand City Commission, the new law would make it a misdemeanor to panhandle aggressively anywhere in DeLand, or to panhandle in any manner in the Downtown DeLand business district and on certain main roads.
It would also prohibit panhandling of any kind after sunset.
A significant hurdle for the City Commission will be deciding whether the city can afford the new law in one of the leanest budget years in recent memory. Because panhandling is not against state law, the city must pay Volusia County $70 per day for the cost of jailing anyone who is arrested for the municipal crime.
Read the West Volusia Beacon report here.