Reports have come out yesterday form Kalispell on the matter of panhandling.

It seems as though city council has voted in majority to ban "transactions in the roadway" in regards to panhandling, with only three council members voting against the measure during Monday night's meeting.

According to a report from KPAX, the ordinance will begin as of May 3rd of this year, with a fine for offenders both pedestrian and driver to be upwards of 500 dollars for exchanging anything regarding goods or currency in city streets whilst in right of ways. The only exception would for "legally parked" vehicles.

This is in junction of the current panhandling laws set in the past.

According to The Flathead Beacon, City officials state that the ordinance passed has nothing to do with panhandling, rather a measure to keep people safe within traffic situations.

Councilor Chad Graham:

"I don't want to discourage people from being charitable, but it's being done in the wrong spot."


According to the same article, apposing City Councilor Ryan Hunter understands that complaints over panhandling have been happening for the last 10 years; however he states there has not been a single example of an accident or collision happening as a result of panhandling, and says that such measures could result in unintended consequences.

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At this point, there are a lot mixed feelings from people about how the city and other municipalities handle the homeless and panhandling, stating that it violates 1st amendment laws infringing on charitable appeals for funds and could be grounds for lawsuits.

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