April 18th, 2012 by WCBC Radio
A bill requested late last year by Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson designed to help curtail panhandling has been signed into law by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. The law, which becomes effective June 1st, should provide some help for Allegany County law enforcement as it imposes tighter controls on panhandlers and provides officers more flexibility in addressing those participating. Sheriff Robertson brought the issue to the attention of the County Commissioners and the District One Delegation in separate meetings last December- saying that local panhandling appeared to be growing dramatically in fall and winter holiday season. Activity has been heaviest at the Country Club Mall and near Braddock Square in Lavale. The bill was sponsored by the Allegany County Delegation as House Bill 150- and passed the House of Delegates March 1 by a vote of 130-1 and passed the Senate 45-0 on March 30. The law allows Allegany County to begin a permit program for roadside solicitations. The permits can only be issued for one calendar day per year. Robertson said that currently there is nothing he or his deputies can do to discourage panhandling as they aren’t breaking any laws….