ACT BY APRIL 1

ISSUE

House Bill 1925 makes it a Class C misdemeanor to be sheltered in a “tent, tarpaulin, lean-to, sleeping bag, bedroll, blankets, or any form of shelter, other than clothing, designed to protect a person from weather conditions” in a public place. In effect, HB 1925 would criminalize sleeping or camping in public.

There is no evidence that allowing camping increases homelessness. But HB 1925 would certainly force more people into debt and incarceration while not addressing the housing issue at all.

Also, by making this a state law, local jurisdictions (city government, police, prosecutors, etc.) could be penalized for not enforcing this heavy handed and punitive approach to solving the state’s housing crisis. It would leave police and prosecutors no choice but to use criminal penalties against people who pose no threat to public safety.

This bill would also force many cities and towns that don’t currently have public sleeping bans to start enforcing one. This is a huge unfunded mandate on those communities in addition to being an inhumane and illogical response to the growing crisis of homelessness nationwide.

CALL, WRITE, TAG ON SOCIAL MEDIA

All Texans can contact the House State Affairs Committee members to ask them to stop or vote no on HB 1925.

You can say or write…

My name is _______. I live in ________ and my zip code is ______. I strongly oppose House Bill 1925, which would only criminalize homelessness. There is no evidence that allowing camping increases homelessness, and this bill would cruelly punish people for having nowhere else to go. By saddling unhoused people with tickets they can’t pay, warrants that prevent them from getting ID, and arrests that give them criminal records, this bill would hurt folks’ chances of getting employment and housing. It would actually keep more people homeless longer.

This bill could also create a huge unfunded mandate for the many small and mid-size communities that don’t have public sleeping bans today, and it would force this unfunded mandate through the threat of losing state grant funds, hurting local governments.

This bill does not address the issue of homelessness but only seeks to keep the unhoused out of sight. If you care about reducing homelessness, local government budgets, or the humanity of unhoused people, you’ll oppose HB 1925.

House State Affairs Committee

  • Chair: Paddie, Chris (R), 512-463-0556, Chris.Paddie@house.texas.gov
  • Vice Chair: Hernandez, Ana (D), 512-463-0614, Ana.Hernandez@house.texas.gov
  • Member: Deshotel, Joe (D), 512-463-0662, Joe.Deshotel@house.texas.gov
  • Harless, Sam (R), 512-463-0496, Sam.Harless@house.texas.gov
  • Howard, Donna (D), 512-463-0631, Donna.Howard@house.texas.gov
  • Hunter, Todd (R), 512-463-0672, todd.hunter@house.texas.gov
  • King, Phil (R), 512-463-0738, phil.king@house.texas.gov
  • Lucio III, Eddie (D), 512-463-0606, eddie.lucio_iii@house.texas.gov
  • Metcalf, Will (R), 512-463-0726, will.metcalf@house.texas.gov
  • Raymond, Richard (D), 512-463-0558, richard.raymond@house.texas.gov
  • Shaheen, Matt (R), 512-463-0594, Matt.Shaheen@house.texas.gov
  • Slawson, Shelby (R), 512-463-0628, Shelby.Slawson@house.texas.gov
  • Smithee, John (R), 512-463-0702, john.smithee@house.texas.gov

Here are some sample social media posts:

“Many cities & towns in Texas don’t have sleeping bans today. #HB 1925 in #txlege forces them to enforce one or lose state grants funds. It creates a huge unfunded mandate & harms these communities.

Vote NO! @chrispaddie @AnaHdzTx @SamHarless126 @DonnaHowardTX @toddahunter”


“Many cities & towns in Texas don’t have sleeping bans today. #HB 1925 in #txlege forces them to enforce one or lose state grants funds. It creates a huge unfunded mandate & harms these communities.

Vote NO! @chrispaddie @AnaHdzTx @SamHarless126 @DonnaHowardTX @toddahunter”


“#HB 1925 in #txlege is illegal. Broad sleeping bans have been ruled unconstitutional. In Martin v. Boise, ID, the court found their sleeping ban “cruel & unusual punishment” under the 8th Amendment.

Vote NO! @chrispaddie @AnaHdzTx @SamHarless126 @DonnaHowardTX @toddahunter”

FOR MORE