PORTLAND -- A state Senate committee has heard testimony on a bill that's reviving the debate over whether people should be allowed to sit or lie on Portland's sidewalks.

A judge four years ago nullified Portland's sit-lie ordinance, saying it conflicted with state law.

A bill in this legislative session would allow cities to come up with their own sidewalk rules.

It is being pushed by the Portland Business Alliance, which says complaints about blocked sidewalks and aggressive panhandlers are a constant in downtown Portland.

Last month, the House overwhelmingly passed the bill. At a hearing Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, opponents said sit-lie ordinances criminalize the homeless and do little to stop aggressive panhandling.

The committee hasn't scheduled a vote.

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