May 24, 2013
City bill banning parking thugs, squeegee men moves forward
The Justice Committee in the City Legislature reactivated a bill looking to ban parking thugs and squeegee men from the streets. The initiative was drafted by the PRO party and is supported by Mayor Mauricio Macri, and looks to punish citizens engaged in these activities with fines or prison.
The bill was sent to the Legislature a year and a half ago but it never made it past a heated debate on the floor.
The PRO caucus has reactivated it after Macri himself demanded it, as the City Government readies to pass a series of bills before December.
One of the bills enables the Metropolitan Police to use the controversial X-26 taser gun and the creation of a genetic database that will store DNA information of all people involved in criminal activities.
Regarding parking thugs and squeegee men, the opposition caucuses are working against the clock in order to draft an alternative bill that, instead of eradicating them, will look to regulate their activities.
“The first step is not prohibition but regulation, and I think that the PRO party started with prohibition,” City lawmaker Gabriela Alegre (Encuentro Popular para la Victoria) said.
The lawmaker, who was present during the Justice Committee meeting, announced that the opposition will issue a different draft bill before Wednesday.
On the other hand, PRO’s Martín Borrelli explained that their draft bill suggests “an amendment to Article 79 in the Misdemeanor Code, which expresses a ban on parking thugs who do not carry a legal authorization, and the inclusion of an addendum banning squeegee men.”
However, opposition lawmakers reject debating such changes unless they engage in talks that look to “provide people with the tools necessary to obtain legal authorization” to perform these activities.
They also said they would reject the addendum looking to ban squeegee men since “you can’t just discriminate people who engage in this kind of work.”
“This bill states that any person asking for change in exchange for cleaning a car’s windshield could be arrested,” lawmaker Francisco “Tito” Nenna warned.