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Gov. Greg Abbott reminding local entities to enforce public camping ban

House Bill 1925 went into effect on Sept. 1.

AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott is reminding Texans that the statewide homeless camping ban “must be enforced.” House Bill 1925, a public camping ban, went into effect on Sept. 1.  

Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter Thursday to the Texas Association of Counties, Texas Municipal League and several cities across the state Thursday. The letter said that failure to enforce the law locally “could result in costly litigation and a loss of state grant funds.”

"Local entities like yours should uphold the rule of law by enforcing this public camping ban," the letter said. "In the coming months, we will be monitoring local entities across Texas to ensure compliance with House Bill 1925. We trust that you will begin enforcing the public camping ban in good faith. Doing so will achieve our shared goal of delivering improved services for the homeless and safer communities for everyone."

According to a press release, over $358 million of federal funding is available to local entities to help individuals experiencing homelessness. In July, the state made $52.9 million available for homeless service providers, and the state is planning to make $100 million more available in October.

The release said $92,505,049 of ESG-CARES funds were also awarded to homeless service providers.

Abbott and Paxton sent the letter to the cities of Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Fort Worth, El Paso, Arlington, Corpus Christi and Plano.

Abbott signed HB 1925 into law in June. The law says camping in a public space could result in a Class C misdemeanor or a fine of up to $100.

Austin already has its own homeless camping ban. Proposition B was passed by voters in May, and the Austin Police Department is currently in its fourth and final phase of enforcement. The statewide ban did not change Austin’s.

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