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Louisiana Is About to Outlaw the Homeless

Spencer Platt, Getty Images

Louisiana lawmakers want to make it illegal for the homeless to ask people for money. Late last month, the Louisiana legislature passed a bill that would make it a misdemeanor offense for individuals to panhandle. The measure was approved by a unanimous vote in the House and has moved on to the Senate.

The goal of the bill, according to its sponsor, Representative Austin Badon, is to eliminate the number of homeless walking the streets, adding that he doubts most of these people are in need: “they’re paying their cell phone bills, they’re paying their computer bills. It’s a racket.”

Badon is hell bent on passing this measure because he believes bums in Louisiana are living better than most working class citizens. However, while there are always stories circulating about the homeless earning $30,000-$50,000 per year, recent studies have found that the majority of big city beggars earn around $25 per day. Nearly 95 percent of the homeless claim to use their panhandling money to buy food… close to half admitted to using it for booze and dope.

If this bill passes, anyone caught soliciting for money, rides, or sex will be subject to a penalty of up to $200 and six months in jail.

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