We want your opinions

December 17, 2006

ISSUE:

County Executive John R. Leopold is dusting off a 2004 state law he sponsored as a delegate that would allow Anne Arundel County to license roadside panhandlers. Leopold, who took office Dec. 4, hopes to curb what he called a public safety problem. He said he envisions a permitting system that would function similarly to the request process for a one-day liquor license. He said fees would be nominal and could be waived for those who cannot afford to pay.

His predecessor, Janet S. Owens, has said licensing panhandlers would create an administrative and enforcement burden. The American Civil Liberties Union has said it would constitute an unconstitutional limit on free speech, and nonprofit organizations have said a fee would restrict their fundraising efforts. What do you think of Leopold's idea?

YOUR VIEW:

Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com by Thursday. Please keep your responses short, and include your name, address and phone number. A selection will be published next Sunday.

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