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Burlington approves new anti-loitering law

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BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - The Burlington City Council has narrowly passed an ordinance that makes it a misdemeanor to loiter on public property.

The ordinance passed 3-2 during Monday's council meeting. The Hawk Eye newspaper in Burlington reports that it applies to areas like sidewalks and streets or blocking access to public buildings. City Clerk Kathleen Salisbury says the ordinance will go into effect when it is published in the newspaper, which will likely happen next week.

Supporters of the ordinance say police need the power to deal with potentially violent situations. Those who opposed the ordinance say it violates constitutional rights. Under the new ordinance police have discretion when and where they will enforce the law.

 

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