Guam AG alerts officials about 'deceptive panhandler practices'
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Panhandlers are ubiquitous along Guam thoroughfares, but Attorney General Douglas Moylan has expressed suspicion about the real purpose of their solicitation.
“They also may be a coordinated financial enterprise seeking donations for purposes not what the panhandlers advertise to secure donations. Tracking and enforcement are difficult if not impossible,” states a draft bill Moylan endorsed to the legislature.
The yet-to-be-sponsored draft legislation seeks a total prohibition on panhandling along Guam roads.
“Tracking panhandling (financial transactions) is difficult and practically impossible to tax and regulate. The government has not exempted these transactions from reporting by panhandlers as taxable income," Moylan said in a letter to Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio and Jesse Alig, president of the Mayors Council of Guam. "Neither is the AG’s Office able to effectively prevent deceptive panhandler practices."
Guam law currently allows the solicitation of donations at road intersections, a provision that Moylan’s draft proposal seeks to repeal.
“Current law creates a continuing clear and present danger to persons soliciting the donations in their approaching vehicles, esp. in multi-lane intersections as they weave through the intersection,” Moylan said.
“The activity also distracts drivers from their focus to safely operate their vehicle and to avoid the panhandlers scurrying into and out of cars. The panhandling activity endangers all involved, including the panhandler, the drivers and persons who may be lawfully or unlawfully walking across intersections or be on the side of the road,"