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Maui mayor proposes legislation addressing homelessness

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Maui Mayor Arakawa. (Star-Advertiser file / May 2012)

WAILUKU » Maui County mayor Alan Arakawa’s administration has submitted five bills aimed at enforcing laws surrounding “nuisance” behavior and a proposed budget amendment to address the growing homelessness crisis.

The Maui News reports the measures are meant to help police enforce laws prohibiting lying on public sidewalks, aggressive panhandling, public drinking, urinating or defecating in public and shopping cart theft. Violators of the measures would be fined up to $500 or face jail time.

The budget amendment would provide funding for temporary shelters, homeless programs and the creation of a homeless division within the Department of Housing and Human Concerns.

The Arakawa administration last week called for deployable emergency shelters to house more than 1,800 homeless people.

The bills and the budget amendment will be reviewed by the County Council.

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