x
Breaking News
More () »

Bill to create statewide homeless camping ban hits roadblock in Texas House

The bill was sent back to committee due to a technical error on Monday.

AUSTIN, Texas — A bill to create a statewide homeless camping ban didn't get far in the Texas House of Representatives.

Lawmakers started debating on House Bill 1925, by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake), on Monday morning. 

The bill would create a statewide homeless camping ban by making camping in public places that are not designated as camping areas a Class C misdemeanor, punishable with a $500 fine. The bill also punishes cities and counties that pass policies contrary to the bill by cutting them off from State funding. 

It also prohibits local leaders from purchasing property to house the homeless without state approval. But HB 1925 does allow local leaders to create designated camping areas for the homeless if those areas must include access to services. 

As lawmakers started to offer amendments to the bill in the morning, Capriglione paused the debate until later in the afternoon. When lawmakers came back to debate amendments, Rep. Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont) called a point of order against the bill, stating the witness list in the bill information was incorrect. As lawmakers were discussing the point of order, Capriglione made a motion to recommit the bill to committee. 

Lakeway Republican Sen. Dawn Buckingham filed an identical bill in the Senate. The Senate Committee on Local Government held a public hearing on that bill and left it pending at the request of Sen. Buckingham. 

Gov. Greg Abbott has said he supports legislation to ban people experiencing homelessness from camping on city streets after the Austin City Council voted to repeal its homeless camping ban nearly two years ago.