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April 16, 2010 at 1:37 PM

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McGinn says he may veto panhandling bill

Posted by Emily Heffter

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said Friday he will veto the council's proposed aggressive panhandling ordinance if it passes with fewer than six votes.

That has Seattle City Council members scrambling to count votes in advance of Monday's vote on the ordinance, proposed by Councilmember Tim Burgess. Downtown business interests are lobbying hard for the measure, while Real Change News, the NAACP, and other advocates are working to block it.

Councilmembers Sally Burgess, Richard Conlin and Tim Burgess already voted for the legislation in committee last week. Councilmember Nick Licata voted against it.

But Councilmembers Bruce Harrell and Tom Rasmussen are said to be considering joining Licata in opposition to the bill.

Harrell and Rasmussen couldn't immediately be reached for comment, and Councilmember Mike O'Brien, who opposed an early version of the bill when he was campaigning for office last fall, was also not available.

"Frankly, I've been listening to the concerns raised," McGinn said during a media availability. "On balance, I don't think it's the right path forward."

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Jim Brunner
Covers politics.

Keith Ervin
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Covers politics and state government from Olympia.

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