New law makes it easier for sidewalk vendors to operate in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- It will soon be easier for sidewalk vendors to operate legally in the Bay Area after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new bill into law.

Sen. Ricardo Lara authored the bill, SB946.

"Gov. Brown's signature validates that thousands of sidewalk vendors are an important part of our economy," said Lara.

Lara says he introduced the legislation after hearing stories about sidewalk vendors being harassed and arrested.

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Here in the Bay Area, two incidents involving street vendors recently made national headlines.

In 2017, a hot dog vendor had his cash taken by a UC Berkeley police officer and given a citation for not having the proper permit.

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And earlier this year, a woman called the police on an 8-year-old girl selling bottles of water outside of AT&T Park in San Francisco.

The new sidewalk vending law will let cities and counties create permit programs and establish health and safety policies for vendors. It also limits when they can be criminally prosecuted.
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