CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) — State lawmakers want to make it legal to loiter, panhandle and sleep on the streets of California. One Citrus Heights City Council member calls the legislation offensive.
In recent years, the city has banned panhandling at intersections and ATMS in response to police reports of mounting aggressiveness.
It’s no surprise that the City Council would oppose a proposed statewide homeless bill of rights
“It’s important to us, because I think there are a lot of unintended consequences to this bill,” said Councilwoman Jeanie Bruins.
She calls the bill a threat to public health, says it creates special rights for the homeless, and will cost cities too much money.
“It also makes some allegations I found very offensive,” said Bruins “And that is that cities are mean-spirited when it comes to homelessness, and I just think that’s wrong.”
Included in its sweeping protections, the homeless bill of rights would allow sleeping in public places, panhandling, and 24-7 access to hygiene provisions.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) wrote the bill and responded to the City Council’s concerns with this statement:
“I understand that cities are concerned about this issue, and I want to work with them to craft legislation that everyone can support.”
“It’s important to note that criminalizing homelessness costs cities and counties millions a year for police, jails and courts.”