Tag Archives: Street Vending

Lying Zillionaires Lie About Street Food In Hollywood — Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance And Hollywood Chamber Of Commerce Submit Doctored Anti-Vendor Photos And Mendacious Letter To City Council — Oppose Street Food Because Hotdoguero Putatively Under The Influence Of Marijuana While Cooking — As If The Kitchens Of Every Ritzy Restaurant On The Boulevard Weren’t Hotbeds Of Cocaine Abuse, Rape, And Sadistic Brutality — The Three Central Back Of The House Traditions Of The Fine Dining Industry

I’ve been covering the dishonest, fever-pitched, chainsaw-screech opposition of the business improvement districts of Los Angeles to this City’s miraculous, one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable street vendors since the Spring of 2015. And they will lie, they will pay their minions to lie, they will whine, and so on. And the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is no better. E.g. its so-called CEO, Leron Gubler, recently wrote a racist screed to the LA City Council claiming that the value of Hollywood Boulevard as a world-class tourist attraction was being depleted due to too many “third world bazaar” type people selling yummy food on the sidewalks.1

And, as you no doubt know, all of this nonsense had the effect of dragging out the City’s attempts at legalizing vending for years, leading State Senator Ricardo Lara to introduce a bill forbidding cities in California from banning vending. This was signed into law by Jerry Brown in September and immediately moved the Los Angeles street vending debate into a different dimension. Lara’s bill prohibits restricting vending on the basis of anything other than objective health, welfare, and safety concerns. And the City is working on a regulatory system that putatively complies with these new limitations.

So the BIDdies have retrenched, given up on banning vendors in most parts of the City, and, in a bizarre Satanic inversion of Jesus’s cleansing of the temple, are concentrating on keeping a very few of their high and holy places, like Hollywood Boulevard, safe for the moneychangers by preventing infestations of the wrong kind of people selling cheap and yummy food2 in a “third world bazaar” type atmosphere. This is as opposed to the expensive and crappy food that the BIDdies prefer to be sold to tourists in Hollywood.3

And to do this, of course, they’re now required to argue that they’re motivated solely by objective health, welfare, and safety concerns rather than the real reasons, chief among which is their unhinged racism. Which brings us to November 27, 2018, when Leron Gubler submitted yet another letter to the Council File, accompanied by some photos supplied by the Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance, pushing the theory that vending on Hollywood Boulevard is unhealthy, unsafe, and contributes to illfare,4 and so should be banned.
Continue reading Lying Zillionaires Lie About Street Food In Hollywood — Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance And Hollywood Chamber Of Commerce Submit Doctored Anti-Vendor Photos And Mendacious Letter To City Council — Oppose Street Food Because Hotdoguero Putatively Under The Influence Of Marijuana While Cooking — As If The Kitchens Of Every Ritzy Restaurant On The Boulevard Weren’t Hotbeds Of Cocaine Abuse, Rape, And Sadistic Brutality — The Three Central Back Of The House Traditions Of The Fine Dining Industry

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City Attorney Submits Proposed Street Vending Ordinance To Council — Mostly Kicks Can Down Road To 2020 By Instructing Rec and Parks And BSS To Write Regulations For Council Approval — But Does Include Hard-Coded Ban Of Vending At Venice Beach, Pueblo De Los Angeles, And Within 500 Feet Of Walk Of Fame, Dodger Stadium, Hollywood Bowl, Coliseum, Staples Center On Event Days

September 2018 — A taquera Oaxaqueña plies her trade on Vermont Avenue north of Slauson.
In September Jerry Brown signed into law Ricardo Lara’s monumental SB 946, basically invalidating all municipal bans on street vending in California. One week later the Los Angeles City Council instructed the City Attorney to draft a compliant ordinance. And yesterday the City Attorney’s drafts1 hit the Council File. You can read the drafts for yourself:

These also came with a report from the City Attorney.

The main difference between the drafts seems to be that in the first version the Bureau of Street Services will be responsible for licensing vendors and enforcement won’t start until 2020. In the second version the City will choose a private contractor to administer the program. There may be other differences that I didn’t notice.

In neither case is it possible to tell right now what legalized street vending will look like in Los Angeles. Both drafts require Recreation and Parks and the Bureau of Street Services to draw up detailed regulations for vending in parks and on the streets respectively, and what these will look like is almost completely undetermined by the language of the ordinances. Although, if the earlier-announced positions of Rec and Parks and of BSS are going to be implemented, we’re in for another long ugly fight which will probably include more lawsuits.

Despite the inchoate character of these drafts, though, it seems that there are some prohibitions which the City Attorney feels are too important to be left up to the vagaries of the administrative rule-making process. These are as listed in the headline, and as transcribed and discussed below after the break.
Continue reading City Attorney Submits Proposed Street Vending Ordinance To Council — Mostly Kicks Can Down Road To 2020 By Instructing Rec and Parks And BSS To Write Regulations For Council Approval — But Does Include Hard-Coded Ban Of Vending At Venice Beach, Pueblo De Los Angeles, And Within 500 Feet Of Walk Of Fame, Dodger Stadium, Hollywood Bowl, Coliseum, Staples Center On Event Days

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City Council Continues Its Long Slide Into Delusion With Respect To Street Vending Regulation As Rec And Parks Files Proposed Rules — Banning Vendors Within 250 Feet Of Playgrounds, Bathrooms, Buildings — Within 500 Feet Of Senior Centers — Which Would Keep Them Altogether Out Of Most Parks In Los Angeles — This Is Obviously Not “Narrowly Tailored To Meet Safety, Health, And Welfare Concerns” — The City Is Begging For Yet Another Lawsuit

In September Jerry Brown effectively ended almost a decade’s worth of lunatic zillionaire opposition to street vending in Los Angeles when he signed into law Ricardo Lara’s monumental SB-946, which puts really strict limits on what municipalities can do to regulate vendors. In particular the law explicitly forbids cities to ban street vending anywhere other than for reasons “[d]irectly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns.”

And briefly it appeared that the City Council was going to try seriously to meet the challenge of developing compliant regulations But then things, as they often will do over at 200 N. Spring Street, rapidly devolved into fractious fractionated factionalism, with each Councilmember rushing about adding ad hoc restrictions, limitations, and so on at the mere behest of any zillionaire with $700 to kick into the old officeholder account. And yesterday this trend went on, worsened, and weirded up with the opening of supplementary Council File CF 13-1493-S6, which has to do with regulating vending in City parks.

The new law allows cities to regulate street vending in parks to some extent, and this council file is a response to that permission. It’s very sparse right now, having only started yesterday, and contains only a set of regulations proposed by Rec and Parks, a recommendation that the Council adopt them, and some kind of cover sheet. Now, Lara’s bill does allow cities to regulate vending in parks slightly more broadly than in general. In particular it allows regulation to protect “the scenic and natural character of the park” and some similar considerations. However, regulations must still be narrowly tailored to address these concerns.

But the restrictions in RAP’s proposal are anything but narrowly tailored, and there’s no plausible way they address the kinds of concerns that the law allows. For instance they contain a blanket ban on vending “within 250 feet of any building, recreation center, bathroom, structure or playground” and “within 500 feet of any school site, camp, youth activity center or senior center located on park property” and within “25 feet of any park fountain, statue, monument, or art installation.” Think of the parks you’re familiar with in Los Angeles. How many of them have any part that’s more than 250 feet from a building or a bathroom or a playground? If adopted, these regulations will constitute a de facto ban on vending in parks, which obviously isn’t consistent with the law.

It’s going to be interesting in some kind of abstract lookie-loo way to watch the City try to explain how a blanket prohibition from selling sliced mango within 250 feet of a bathroom is “[d]irectly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns,” how selling a taco within 500 feet of a senior center is “[d]irectly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns,” and so on. It’s also going to be interesting to watch the lawsuits that are sure to be filed if the City adopts this nonsense and ever tries to enforce it. It would be more interesting, of course, to watch the City government behaving like mature lawmakers. That, though, is never going to happen, so we have to take our enjoyment where we can.

And turn the page for a transcription of the so-called time, place, and manner regulations being proposed by RAP. I only quoted the worst ones above, but the rest of them are also not good, and therefore worth reading.
Continue reading City Council Continues Its Long Slide Into Delusion With Respect To Street Vending Regulation As Rec And Parks Files Proposed Rules — Banning Vendors Within 250 Feet Of Playgrounds, Bathrooms, Buildings — Within 500 Feet Of Senior Centers — Which Would Keep Them Altogether Out Of Most Parks In Los Angeles — This Is Obviously Not “Narrowly Tailored To Meet Safety, Health, And Welfare Concerns” — The City Is Begging For Yet Another Lawsuit

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Bye Bye BIDdies! — City Of Los Angeles Finally Concedes The Street Vending Battle As Curren Price And José Huizar Move In Council Today To Instruct The City Attorney To Draft An Ordinance That’s Consistent With Lara’s Safe Street Vending Act

As you know the City of Los Angeles has been arguing over how to regulate street vending for pretty much forever now, with business improvement districts and chambers of commerce and other such-like weaponized implements of zillionaire-aligned white supremacy using every last bit of their political juice to introduce all kinds of complex conditions like opt-in districts, opt-out districts, permission from business owners, limitations on number of vendors per block, immediate confiscation of equipment, fees paid to BIDs, and on and on and on, all obviously designed for the sole purpose of continuing the wholesale arrest of street vendors.

But as I’m sure you also know just last week governor Jerry Brown signed Ricardo Lara’s Safe Street Vending Bill into law, severely limiting the power of cities to regulate vending. This bill has been working its way through the legislature since January 2018 and was well known to have an excellent chance of becoming law, and obviously voids pretty much every single feature of the City’s proposals, and yet nevertheless the City Council didn’t even start thinking about it officially until August.

But oh, they do have to think about it now. If the City doesn’t have an actual regulatory ordinance in place by January 1, 2019 they won’t have the power to regulate vendors at all. This, I guess, was enough to move them to action, and therefore this morning Councilmembers Curren Price And José Huizar introduced a motion in Council instructing the City Attorney to draft an ordinance that would comply with SB-946. The whole deal is memorialized in Council File 13-1493-S5.

And the BIDdies don’t have any leverage over this ordinance because state law compels all the essential features. This is a huge blow for our City’s business improvement districts and other nasty, selfish opponents of vending, and a huge win for humanity. We’re going to see some snakey creepy nasty rhetoric from the BIDs over this, you wait and see! Turn the page for the complete text of Price and Huizar’s motion.
Continue reading Bye Bye BIDdies! — City Of Los Angeles Finally Concedes The Street Vending Battle As Curren Price And José Huizar Move In Council Today To Instruct The City Attorney To Draft An Ordinance That’s Consistent With Lara’s Safe Street Vending Act

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SB 946, Ricardo Lara’s Safe Street Vending Bill, Signed Into Law By Governor Jerry Brown Yesterday! — This Is A Huge Victory For Human Beings In California Over The Dark Forces Of Money, Racism, And Weirdo Puritanical White Privilege — Also A Huge Slap-Down For The BIDs Of Los Angeles, Who Evidently Don’t Control Everything

It has been a long and exciting eight months since Ricardo Lara introduced SB 946 in order to limit the ways in which cities in California are allowed to regulate street vending. Yesterday, thank goodness, it was signed into law by Jerry Brown. The preamble1 is a powerful statement of the value that street vendors bring to our City and to other cities around the state:

SECTION 1. (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) Sidewalk vending provides important entrepreneurship and economic development opportunities to low-income and immigrant communities.

(2) Sidewalk vending increases access to desired goods, such as culturally significant food and merchandise.

(3) Sidewalk vending contributes to a safe and dynamic public space.

(4) The safety and welfare of the general public is promoted by encouraging local authorities to support and properly regulate sidewalk vending.

(5) The safety and welfare of the general public is promoted by prohibiting criminal penalties for violations of sidewalk vending ordinances and regulations.

(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to promote entrepreneurship and support immigrant and low-income communities.

The law reads as if it were written explicitly in response to the weirdo racist antics of the business improvement districts of Los Angeles, displayed during their years-long struggle to keep street vending illegal here. Also, this law completely moots the ridiculous regulatory framework that the City of Los Angeles has been struggling with for years on end, riddled as it’s become with hyperspecific carve-outs meant to appease this or that BID.2

It’s really informative to compare this law with this set of proposals made earlier this year by the Central City Association, which speaks exclusively for the BIDs and zillionaires of Los Angeles. For instance, the CCA and the BIDs want to limit vendors to two per block face. But the law says:3

A local authority shall not restrict the overall number of sidewalk vendors permitted to operate within the jurisdiction of the local authority, unless the restriction is directly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns.4

The CCA and the BIDs want to require vendors to obtain property and/or business owner consent. As we’ve seen, this kind of restriction is really easily exploitable to function as a de facto ban. The law says:5

A local authority shall not require a sidewalk vendor to first obtain the consent or approval of any nongovernmental entity or individual before he or she can sell food or merchandise.

And turn the page for more comparisons as well as the full text of the law.
Continue reading SB 946, Ricardo Lara’s Safe Street Vending Bill, Signed Into Law By Governor Jerry Brown Yesterday! — This Is A Huge Victory For Human Beings In California Over The Dark Forces Of Money, Racism, And Weirdo Puritanical White Privilege — Also A Huge Slap-Down For The BIDs Of Los Angeles, Who Evidently Don’t Control Everything

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Once Again The City Of Los Angeles Was Pushed To The Very Brink Of The Precipice Of Batshit Insanity By Business Improvement Districts And Their Unhinged Obsession With Controlling Every Aspect Of Public Life In Los Angeles — And Unexpectedly Stepped Back And Just Said “No” — Is Holly Wolcott Going To Lose Her Job Over This?

As you’re no doubt aware, the City of Los Angeles has been trying for years to put together a proposed ordinance legalizing street vending.1 The problem, of course, is that business improvement districts and other zillionaire-associated pressure groups hate street vending with a passion that is so incomprehensible, so devoid of rationality, that no one can appease them. No matter what concessions the City gives them they want more. The absolutely unhinged nature of their psychotic demands are exemplified, e.g., in this tragic tale from the Westchester Town Center BID.

In March of this year the Central City Association distilled all these lunatic demands into a concise three page document. They include, among many other things, the ability to exclude street vendors from any part of the City for no reason, the ability to confiscate their carts if they look at the BID patrol crosseyed, the ability for property owners to veto their presence for no reason, and the requirement that street vendors pay extra money to business improvement districts for the privilege of operating within their boundaries.

Now, the City Council, usually willing to do whatever BIDdies ask them to do, has had to be somewhat more circumspect when it comes to street vending because of the intense public scrutiny. The state-level Democratic Party, e.g., has taken up general legalization as a social and economic justice issue, leading to the overwhelming passage of Ricardo Lara’s SB-946 a couple weeks ago.2 But more circumspect or not, they still have to give the BIDdies some respect or they’ll cut off their access to that rich source of campaign contributions.

This is probably why the Economic Development Committee asked the City Clerk to report back on how to make street vendors who operate within BIDs pay extra fees that would go to the BIDs as, I don’t know, like protection money or something. These report-backs typically reflect the deep psychosis of this City’s zillionaires, who really seem to think that their thoughts and feelings are objectively important rather than being only contextually important, with the context, of course, being campaign contributions.3

So what a surprise it was to learn that Holly Wolcott has filed a gem of a report, which calmly and decisively explains to the City Council that actually any such fee scheme would be illegal. What?! Wolcott explicitly suggests that if street vendors in BIDs create extra costs for the BIDs the BIDs can budget money to pay for them but they cannot legally force the vendors to pay.

Holly Wolcott, pretty famously, recently flipped out over the fact that the Venice Beach BID collected far more than a million dollars for 2017 and then didn’t actually do anything at all. She schemed successfully to force the BID to refund the unspent money, and, in the midst of a great deal of personal tension between the BIDdies and the Clerk’s office, the money was in fact refunded. Perhaps this uncharacteristically non-BID-agreeing-with report-back is more of the same? I’m not sure, but it sure is welcome. Turn the page for a transcription of Holly Wolcott’s peculiarly sensible report!
Continue reading Once Again The City Of Los Angeles Was Pushed To The Very Brink Of The Precipice Of Batshit Insanity By Business Improvement Districts And Their Unhinged Obsession With Controlling Every Aspect Of Public Life In Los Angeles — And Unexpectedly Stepped Back And Just Said “No” — Is Holly Wolcott Going To Lose Her Job Over This?

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Some Insight Into How Mike Bonin Arranges For Business Improvement Districts To Present His Policy Positions To The Public Is Provided By A Moderately Bizarre Email Exchange Between Don Duckworth And Bonin Chief Of Staff Chad Molnar On Mike Bonin’s Position On Street Vending Opt-In Versus Opt-Out And Requiring Vendors To Obtain Property Owner Permission — After Which Don Duckworth Wrote To His Bosses On The BID And As Good As Accused Mike Bonin Of Being A Whiny Little Baby

Oh, man! Don’t you hate it when you tell your followers and minions and networkers that your Councilmember supports some policy position and then his chief of staff flips out on you and “requests” that you eat your words and you have to do it cause if you don’t the Council District might cut off the flow of zillion dollar bills pouring down on you and the damn zillionaires as whose henchman you serve from the heady cornucopian heights of the fourth floor of 200 N. Spring Street?1

What?! That never happens to you?! Well, it certainly happens to BIDdological freak show specimen Donald Duckworth like, all the freaking time. This is the story of one such episode from 2017 having to do with street vending, which began on January 11 when 2017 Donald Duckworth sent out the Westchester Town Center BID‘s Winter 2016 newsletter.

It contained a typically stupid but essentially innocuous article on the infamous CF 13-1493, which is, of course, the street vending matter. I don’t have the original email attached to which he sent the thing, but he also forwarded a copy to Rita Moreno of the City Clerk’s office. And therein we find the following exhortatory paragraph, which evidently accompanied the newsletters sent out to the BIDs willing minions:

We are sending the newsletter now so that our readers have an opportunity to voice their preferences with respect to the proposed City action that is being supported by Councilman Mike Bonin. Think of taco carts, fruit vendors, and cheap merchandise together with all of the litter, sidewalk mess, and clutter caused by vendors that don’t pay rent, taxes, or fees as the brick and mortar stores they are competing against do. The Westchester Town Center BID has requested our Councilman to not force street vending on the community of Westchester and to require property owner approval before any vendor could set up shop in front of their property. If some neighborhoods want it fine, but we don’t think Westchester is one of those places. The Neighborhood Council and Chamber of Commerce have agreed. How fair is it to require property owners to repair their sidewalks but not allow them to have a voice in whether or not someone can set up a business there?

Well, it seems that Councilmember Mike didn’t like this claim that he was in favor of the street vending apocalypse2 and he called Donald Duckworth on the morning of January 12, 2017 and was all like hey dude, not right and therefore apologize. And Donald Duckworth, whose job is to bring home the bacon rather than to aggravate the pigs, begged forgiveness and agreed to correct the damn record. And the whole detailed story along with links to and transcriptions of the emails and other records can be found directly after the damn break!
Continue reading Some Insight Into How Mike Bonin Arranges For Business Improvement Districts To Present His Policy Positions To The Public Is Provided By A Moderately Bizarre Email Exchange Between Don Duckworth And Bonin Chief Of Staff Chad Molnar On Mike Bonin’s Position On Street Vending Opt-In Versus Opt-Out And Requiring Vendors To Obtain Property Owner Permission — After Which Don Duckworth Wrote To His Bosses On The BID And As Good As Accused Mike Bonin Of Being A Whiny Little Baby

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SB-946, Ricardo Lara’s Monumental Street Vending Legalization Bill, Approved By Legislature — Now On To Governor!

On Monday the Assembly passed Ricardo Lara’s monumental street vending regulation bill, SB 946, and sent it back to the Senate for re-approval, a step which was made necessary by some minor amendments. Yesterday, putting a successful end to a seven month legislative process, the Senate approved it 24 to 12. It is now in the hands of the governor.

This bill, if signed by Jerry Brown, will put severe limits on the ability of cities to regulate or ban street vending. In particular, it will make it impossible to ban them from certain areas without objective health and safety concerns and it will make it impossible for any city’s regulatory scheme to include approval by surrounding businesses or property owners. It explicitly defines the allowable range of “objective” concerns to exclude community animus.

These two clauses alone will radically alter the situation in Los Angeles, where zillionaires of all stripes, but especially BIDs, have fought long and hard to include them in any street vending law here probably because they’re so easily abused. This bill would, among many, many other consequential effects, overturn the City’s ridiculously specific bans on street vending on Hollywood Blvd and prohibit individual City Councilmembers from unilaterally banning vending in their districts at the behest of BIDs and other zillionaire-aligned interest groups.

Turn the page for a transcription of the legislature’s analysis of the final version of the bill.
Continue reading SB-946, Ricardo Lara’s Monumental Street Vending Legalization Bill, Approved By Legislature — Now On To Governor!

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Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Bill SB-946 Passed By Assembly — Now Back To Senate For Approval Of Amendments — Then On To The Governor’s Office

For background take a look at this fine article in the Times by Emily Alpert Reyes.

Ricardo Lara’s monumental street vending regulation bill, SB-946, was read in the Assembly for the third time yesterday and passed 56 to 17 on a straight party-line vote.1 Because it was amended in the Assembly, notably here and here, it has to go back to the Senate for one more vote before heading to the Governor’s office.

The bill is universally opposed by Los Angeles BIDdies. Led by Carol Schatz of the Central City Association, they have been opposing it vigorously since its introduction in January 2018. Their overwrought terror of this bill is a natural consequence of their unhinged, years-long opposition to street vending in Los Angeles despite the essential role it plays in the social and cultural life of this City.

Surprisingly, the political juice of the BIDdies has availed them not in this particular struggle. We’ve seen how they’re able to reach out even all the way to Sacramento to kill off bills that threaten their plutocratic reign over almost every aspect of our daily life. But here, it’s not working. Even Miguel Freaking Santiago, their flunky in every possible situation, voted for SB-946.

A veto from Jerry Brown is their last hope. And maybe they’ll get it, who knows? You can bet what passes for good money in these latter days of the economy that they’re working on him right now. And if they manage to talk him around to their point of view, it’s the end of the matter, since our esteemed legislature is never ever going to override him. Anyway, I don’t know how long it’ll take for this to come up before the Senate, but you’ll hear about it here when it does!
Continue reading Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Bill SB-946 Passed By Assembly — Now Back To Senate For Approval Of Amendments — Then On To The Governor’s Office

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Ricardo Lara’s Sanity In Street Vending Bill, SB-946, Amended Slightly And Not Substantially, Ordered To House For Third And Final Reading Before Vote

The last we heard about Ricardo Lara’s monumental street vending regulation bill, SB-946, it had been sent up to the full assembly from the Committee on Local Government with a “do pass” recommendation. This was in June, just before the legislature adjourned for the entire month of July. Things have been pretty quiet with respect to this bill lately, and I admit that I was getting a little worried that really destructive amendments were in the works.1

But it turns out, or at least it appears, that all is well. Yesterday the bill was amended, but the changes were fairly unsubstantial. There were a number of stylistic adjustments and a separate fine schedule was added for people who vend without a permit in cities which do have a permitting process in place. Given the fact that Los Angeles has been arguing about permitting vendors for decades without being able to arrive at an actual process, none of this is likely to apply here.

The bill was then ordered to the Assembly floor for a third and final reading before a vote. I don’t know enough about the legislature to figure out when that might happen, but my feeling is that it’s likely to pass as currently written, since they ought to have worked out all the kinks by now, eh? Then it’s up to the governor, and I have no idea what he’ll do with it. Maybe organized opposition by zillionaires and their sleazy advocates has more weight with him than it’s had with the legislature so far?

I don’t know, but turn the page for a transcription of the section on fines with the newly added material in blue.
Continue reading Ricardo Lara’s Sanity In Street Vending Bill, SB-946, Amended Slightly And Not Substantially, Ordered To House For Third And Final Reading Before Vote

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