ISSUE

Last week, we asked you to call the House State Affairs Committee to OPPOSE HB 1925. Unfortunately it passed out of committee. Now it goes to the Calendar Committee that schedules bills for floor debate. The Calendar Committee can hold off scheduling a bill as a delay tactic, so call them and push them to do just that–hold the bill!

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.

ACTION REQUIRED

Call the House Calendar Committee Members

Ask them to suspend scheduling of HB 1925 for floor debate.

Find contact info for the House Calendar Committee members HERE.

Contact Your State Representative

After you call the Calendar Committee, call your own State Rep and tell them to vote NO on HB 1925, which would criminalize homelessness.

Find who represents you HERE. Then find the contact info for your state representative HERE.

You can say…

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.

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