MADISON (WKOW) -- After a lot of public comments and city council vote Tuesday night, panhandling on all of State Street and the Capitol Square will now be illegal.
The new law prohibits asking for money in those areas but does eliminate a panhandling restriction in front of non-residential buildings. City leaders hope to protect the safety of pedestrians and keep the sidewalks clear for the thousands of people who walk the space every day.
MADISON (WKOW) -- It was a long night for Madison's City Council, as they gathered for a meeting at 7:30 Tuesday night with a big agenda.
A controversial topic up for discussion includes a vote on an amendment to the taxi cab ordinance that prohibits cabs from idling in designated spots on State Street while waiting for fares.
Waiting for customers is something taxi drivers like Dee Pachlhofer told the council is essential for their business and for safety, especially during bar time.
"I want to get to those drivers before they get to their cars. I want to make sure that we can remove people from State Street before they cause problems, before they start fights, before they start making it a dangerous place," says Pachlhofer.
A few students from UW-Madison were at the meeting to share their comments on the possible changes, saying they're pushing for safety too, with budget cuts to their Safe Ride program.
"[The ordinance]'s not going to help keep things safe. I know we've had a number of issues recently, just this last weekend there was an incident that would really show that we shouldn't be moving away from safety in our community," says David Gardener, chief of staff of Associated Students of Madison.
Under the new ordinance, taxis would still be allowed to continue driving down State Street looking for customers between 7 p.m. and 4 a.m., but not parked.
After a lot of public comments and city council vote Tuesday night, panhandling on all of State Street and the Capitol Square will now be illegal. The new law prohibits asking for money in those areas but does eliminate a panhandling restriction in front of non-residential buildings. City leaders hope to protect the safety of pedestrians and keep the sidewalks clear for the thousands of people who walk the space every day.
Early in the meeting, the council also heard comments from the public on Mayor Paul Soglin's 2013 Capital Budget announced earlier this month. The $192 million plan requires city departments to cut their budgets by about 5 percent.
Those who spoke Tuesday night had a lot to say about one of Soglin's proposals to spend $2 million for two community neighborhood centers. Multiple people asked for the Theresa Terrace neighborhood to be considered, saying the area needed help to improve.
The council didn't have any discussion on the budget Tuesday. Now, it will be referred back to the Board of Estimates for a vote. The budget won't be taken up for a vote by the council until November.
MADISON (WKOW) -- The public will have a chance to speak out on Mayor Paul Soglin's 2013 Capital Budget at a city council meeting Tuesday night.
Earlier this month, the mayor released details of his $192 million budget that requires city departments to cut their costs by about 5 percent.
Tuesday, the common council will hear comments from the public starting at 7:45 p.m. in the new council chambers of the City-County Building.
The council is also expected to vote on a proposed ordinance to ban panhandling on State Street and the Capitol Square, as well as an ordinance that would prohibit taxis from parking on State Street or driving through the area looking for customers.
Tonight on 27 News at 10, Jennifer Kliese reports on the budget discussion and the council's votes on those ordinances.
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