Panhandlers could soon have to undergo a criminal background check and pay $20 a month if they want to continually ask people for money in Johnston County.Lest you think the dissenting vote represented some soft-hearted squishiness on the part of the commissioners, that vote came because a commissioner feared the licenses would create an entitlement to beg.
County commissioners voted 6-1 last week to set limits on people who beg for money in Johnston. Wade Stewart cast the lone vote against a new ordinance. A second vote is set to take place next month.
Under the proposed rules, panhandlers would be required to get a permit every 30 days through the sheriff's office. The first month's permit would be free, but panhandlers would pay $20 for each subsequent permit.
Conservatives have long maintained that charity is undermined by government assistance. However, as the Johnson County commissioners show, charity is actually undermined by the lack of charity.