By KEVIN CHIRI
Slidell news bureau
SLIDELL – The Slidell City Council on Tuesday night passed an ordinance that supports a recent requirement for individuals who want to beg for money in the city limits.
Beggars must now seek a permit from the Slidell Police Department, although the permit is free. The city passed the ordinance months ago after increasing complaints about beggars at major intersections. They revised the language on Tuesday night, all coming after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a suit against the city for their ordinance, claiming discrimination against those who want to beg for money or food.
Slidell lawyer Sean Morrison asked the city to vote “no” on the ordinance since he said “it is not effective in stopping begging and you will now have to fight the ACLU on the lawsuit for a long time, costing a lot of money.”
Morrison suggested the city use the money they might have spent in their fight against the lawsuit to “try and help these people get a meal in their bellies” and help them with their problems”
He said the ACLU situation will create a “bureaucratic nightmare” since he believes the ordinance is “probably unconstitutional.”
In the end, the City Council passed the ordinance by a 9-0 vote.