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Council panel shelves bill banning lying on sidewalks

By Star-Advertiser stafff

LAST UPDATED: 01:48 a.m. HST, Nov 20, 2013

A bill banning "lying on sidewalks" was shelved by the City Council Public Safety and Economic Development Committee today after it became clear it did not have enough support to pass.

Several Council members, primarily Breene Harimoto and Ikaika Anderson, said they did not think the bill would solve the issues it sought to address.

Bill 59 originally called for the ban to take place across Oahu but recent drafts limited the prohibition to Chinatown, the Capitol District and Waikiki after city attorneys raised concerns about potential legal challenges based on time and place restrictions.

The bill, in its various forms, did allow exemptions, including for those exercising free speech, and those showing proof that they had been turned away from a homeless shelter the evening they lie on the streets.

Several members of (de)Occupy Honolulu and homeless advocates testified against the bill arguing that it unfairly targeted the homeless. A few people testified in favor of the bill, arguing it would be helpful for the public and businesses affected by people blocking their entrances.

Councilman Stanley Chang, who introduced the bill, denied that the bill targeted the homeless. He insisted the bill is about keeping public sidewalks clear for pedestrians, and added that it would apply to anyone lying on public sidewalks.

After the meeting, Chang said that he will work to change the proposal to address the concerns raised by colleagues and the public.

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HanabataDays wrote:
Pretty pathetic attempt to deal with the homeless issue.
on November 19,2013 | 10:30AM
loquaciousone wrote:
It might have worked as well as the tent bill. At Aala park, there are now only 18 tents instead of the twenty or so that used to line Beretania Street.
on November 19,2013 | 10:37AM
Pocho wrote:
Come on now! Wanting to give exemptions to homeless people turned away by shelters? Somethings wrong with these Liberal Politicians! Get real pass real strict laws to clean up the sidewalks for Gawd Sakes!
on November 19,2013 | 10:42AM
Pocho wrote:
futher more it's a gimme. They all going learn to say they got turned away from shelters GET real folks pass the laws and enforce it!!!
on November 19,2013 | 10:45AM
MakaniKai wrote:
Politicians are always trolling for more "revenue enhancement" Charge the sidewalk dwellers property tax! Joke City Council. I vote. My candidate did not get elected I’m stuck with a re-tread from the square building – Geeez!
on November 19,2013 | 10:49AM
Pocho wrote:
I'm in the same boat. I don't know, cause the majority keeps voting em in! CRAZY
on November 19,2013 | 11:07AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
On the one hand we have a law maker running around like a vigilante; on the other hand we have law makers who cannot agree on a law.

Rambo or Coward, nothing nearly sensible.

on November 19,2013 | 11:09AM
sooregonian wrote:
Palace pols governing by guilt. Empower, don't enable.
on November 19,2013 | 11:17AM
kennysmith wrote:
why can't any one like to help the homeless people?
on November 19,2013 | 11:21AM
kuniagirl wrote:
here's a question for you: why should I be supporting people who shoot up, who smoke ice, who use our public areas as toiletes or junkyares, who will only go to shelters if the terms of their being there are completely to their linking? Tell me that, Kenny.
on November 19,2013 | 11:57AM
markat wrote:
No need for a bill. Just call Tom Brower. He'll Browerize them.
on November 19,2013 | 12:02PM
fiveo wrote:
Just a mean spirited bill. Don't see how Chang can claim that his bill does not target the homeless. Give me a break. Of course it targets the homeless. This guy can't even be honest. He needs to be voted out. Just another career politician looking to enrich himself. Needs to go back and work for a living.
on November 19,2013 | 01:02PM
Too_Much_Pilikia wrote:
Another gutless decision by our gutless politicians. Of course it targets the homeless! Who else is causing this blight on our community? Shameful.
on November 19,2013 | 03:52PM
Ronin006 wrote:
The city council members who opposed this bill should be made political-less in the next election.
on November 19,2013 | 04:23PM
JeffMull wrote:
Hearing this news really pains me. I'm a small business owner in Chinatown and the homeless have become a major deterrent to business. We put everything we have and then some into starting a business, only to have people who have given up on life (I'm not referring to people who are homeless and mentally ill, but rather homeless drug addicts) chase potential customers away. I feel as if some members of the legislature care more about the homeless and are more terrified of the ACLU than want to help people in their 20s and 30s grow a business.
on November 19,2013 | 05:02PM
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