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Hawaii County settles 2 civil liberties lawsuits

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Hawaii County is settling two American Civil Liberties Union lawsuits by agreeing to change its panhandling laws and stop subjecting prospective county workers to urinalysis screening.

The ACLU of Hawaii announced the settlements Monday. County attorneys didn’t immediately comment.

In one case, the ACLU says the county will pay $115,000 in legal fees and stop requiring pre-employment urinalysis and other medical screening, except for some employees such as police officers.

In the other case, the county will pay $80,000 in fees and has repealed code provisions that criminalized solicitation and begging.

The ACLU argued that the urinalysis requirement revealed private medical information and that the tests were unrelated to job requirements.

The ACLU argued that interfering with a homeless man holding signs seeking help violated his right to free speech.

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