Georgia State Senator Introduces Bill To Cut Homeless Funds From Cities With Too Many Homeless
Homelessness is a persistent and unfortunate problem that’s visible in any U.S. city of appreciable size. Since there are a number of factors that can lead somebody to become homeless, it stands to reason that there are also a number of legitimate ways to try to help. But a Georgia state senator’s new proposal stands out as particularly draconian and unproductive.
The bill, titled the “Reducing Street Homelessness Act of 2022,” was proposed by Carden Summers, a Republican. Specifically, the bill singles out funds from last year’s American Rescue Plan that apportioned $5 billion for states to use toward rental assistance, homeless shelters, building low-income housing, etc. Under Summers’ bill, “no funds received” under the program by any state agency “may be used for the construction or purchase of permanent supportive housing for the homeless.”
The bill also ties any future grants to the explicit enforcement of “all state and local laws prohibiting unauthorized camping and sleeping in public.” If passed, the law would go into effect on January 1, 2023. Beginning six months later, on July 1, “any municipality with a per capita level of homelessness…higher than the state average that refuses to enforce” the camping and sleeping-in-public laws “shall receive no further grants of any kind…for public safety.” Even more brazenly, “no nonprofit located within such municipality shall receive such grants” until either the level of homelessness declines or the city in question enforces those laws to the state’s satisfaction.
In essence, the bill would hold public funds hostage unless cities and towns accede to the state’s demands. Putting
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