Missoula, MT -

The city of Missoula is looking to change an ordinance meant to crack down on panhandling after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened a lawsuit and won a similar case in Idaho in which it argued asking for money is protected free speech.

In 2009, the council made it illegal to ask for money in certain areas, such as within 20 feet of an ATM, and also made it unlawful to "aggressively" solicit money.

In December, the city council voted to prohibit sitting, sleeping or lying in some places and limited the places where people can legally panhandle. Mayor Jim Engen asked the council to reconsider the latest decision so he could work out a compromise with the ACLU.

The Missoulian reports the council plans a public hearing on Feb. 10 to discuss proposed revisions.