Bill criminalizing camping on public property heading to Governor’s desk


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) -House lawmakers passed a bill criminalizing camping on public property. The controversial bill is now headed to the governor’s desk.

The measure makes camping or soliciting along highways, overpasses, or exit ramps a misdemeanor offense. It’s punishable by a $50 fine and community service work. Critics say the measure unfairly targets the homeless.

“I was homeless three times before the age of 17,” Representative Antonio Parkinson said. “Thank god that this law wasn’t in a place where I was living. Because I possibly wouldn’t even be here. I just think we should be more compassionate.”

If signed by Governor Bill Lee, the bill would take effect July 1.

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