By: Capriglione, et al. H.B. No. 1925
        (Senate Sponsor - Buckingham, Bettencourt, Lucio)
         (In the Senate - Received from the House May 10, 2021;
  May 10, 2021, read first time and referred to Committee on Local
  Government; May 17, 2021, reported favorably by the following
  vote:  Yeas 5, Nays 3, one present not voting; May 17, 2021, sent to
Click here to see the committee vote
  relating to prohibitions on camping in a public place and to a
  political subdivision's designation of property for camping by
  homeless individuals; creating a criminal offense.
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 48, Penal Code, is amended by adding
  Section 48.05 to read as follows:
         Sec. 48.05.  PROHIBITED CAMPING. (a)  In this section:
               (1)  "Camp" means to reside temporarily in a place,
  with shelter.
               (2)  "Shelter" includes a tent, tarpaulin, lean-to,
  sleeping bag, bedroll, blankets, or any form of temporary,
  semipermanent, or permanent shelter, other than clothing  or any
  handheld device, designed to protect a person from weather
  conditions that threaten personal health and safety.
         (b)  A person commits an offense if the person intentionally
  or knowingly camps in a public place without the effective consent
  of the officer or agency having the legal duty or authority to
  manage the public place.
         (c)  The actor's intent or knowledge may be established
  through evidence of activities associated with sustaining a living
  accommodation that are conducted in a public place, including:
               (1)  cooking;
               (2)  making a fire;
               (3)  storing personal belongings for an extended
               (4)  digging; or
               (5)  sleeping.
         (d)  Consent given by an officer or agency of a political
  subdivision is not effective for purposes of Subsection (b), unless
  given to authorize the person to camp for:
               (1)  recreational purposes;
               (2)  purposes of sheltering homeless individuals, if
  the property on which the camping occurs is subject to a plan
  approved under Subchapter PP, Chapter 2306, Government Code, and
  the camping occurs in a manner that complies with the plan;
               (3)  purposes permitted by a beach access plan that has
  been approved under Section 61.015, Natural Resources Code, and the
  camping occurs in a manner that complies with the plan; or
               (4)  purposes related to providing emergency shelter
  during a disaster declared under Section 418.014, Government Code,
  or a local disaster declared under Section 418.108 of that code.
         (e)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
         (f)  This section does not preempt an ordinance, order, rule,
  or other regulation adopted by a state agency or political
  subdivision relating to prohibiting camping in a public place or
  affect the authority of a state agency or political subdivision to
  adopt or enforce an ordinance, order, rule, or other regulation
  relating to prohibiting camping in a public place if the ordinance,
  order, rule, or other regulation:
               (1)  is compatible with and equal to or more stringent
  than the offense prescribed by this section; or
               (2)  relates to an issue not specifically addressed by
  this section.
         (g)  Except as provided by Subsection (h), before or at the
  time a peace officer arrests or issues a citation to a person for an
  offense under this section, the peace officer must make a
  reasonable effort to:
               (1)  advise the person of an alternative place at which
  the person may lawfully camp; and
               (2)  contact, if reasonable and appropriate, an
  appropriate official of the political subdivision in which the
  public place is located, or an appropriate nonprofit organization
  operating within that political subdivision, and request the
  official or organization to provide the person with:
                     (A)  information regarding the prevention of
  human trafficking; or
                     (B)  any other services that would reduce the
  likelihood of the person suspected of committing the offense
  continuing to camp in the public place.
         (h)  Subsection (g) does not apply if the peace officer
  determines there is an imminent threat to the health or safety of
  any person to the extent that compliance with that subsection is
         (i)  If the person is arrested or detained solely for an
  offense under this section, a peace officer enforcing this section
  shall ensure that all of the person's personal property not
  designated as contraband under other law is preserved by:
               (1)  permitting the person to remove all the property
  from the public place at the time of the person's departure; or
               (2)  taking custody of the property and allowing the
  person to retrieve the property after the person is released from
         (j)  A fee may not be charged for the storage or release of
  property under Subsection (i)(2).
         SECTION 2.  Chapter 2306, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter PP to read as follows:
         Sec. 2306.1121.  DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "camp" has
  the meaning assigned by Section 48.05, Penal Code.
         Sec. 2306.1122.  APPROVAL REQUIRED. (a) A political
  subdivision may not designate a property to be used by homeless
  individuals to camp unless the department approves a plan described
  by Section 2306.1123(b).
         (b)  Not later than the 30th day after the date the
  department receives a plan submitted by a political subdivision
  under this subchapter, the department shall make a final
  determination regarding approval of the plan.
         Sec. 2306.1123.  PLAN REQUIREMENTS. (a) In this section,
  "proposed new campers" means homeless individuals the applicant
  intends to allow to camp at the property.
         (b)  A plan required by Section 2306.1122 must describe each
  of the following with respect to a proposed property:
               (1)  the availability of local health care for proposed
  new campers, including access to Medicaid services and mental
  health services;
               (2)  the availability of indigent services for proposed
  new campers;
               (3)  the availability of reasonably affordable public
  transportation for proposed new campers;
               (4)  local law enforcement resources in the area; and
               (5)  the steps the applicant has taken to coordinate
  with the local mental health authority to provide for any proposed
  new campers.
         (c)  An applicant shall respond to reasonable requests for
  additional information made by the department regarding the
  proposed property or plan.
         SECTION 3.  Subtitle C, Title 11, Local Government Code, is
  amended by adding Chapter 364 to read as follows:
         Sec. 364.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Local entity" means:
                     (A)  the governing body of a municipality or
                     (B)  an officer or employee of or a division,
  department, or other body that is part of a municipality or county,
  including a sheriff, municipal police department, municipal
  attorney, or county attorney; and
                     (C)  a district attorney or criminal district
               (2)  "Policy" includes a formal, written rule,
  ordinance, order, or policy and an informal, unwritten policy.
               (3)  "Public camping ban" means a law, rule, ordinance,
  order, or other regulation that prohibits camping in a public
  place, including Section 48.05, Penal Code.
         Sec. 364.002.  POLICY ON CAMPING BANS. (a)  A local entity
  may not adopt or enforce a policy under which the entity prohibits
  or discourages the enforcement of any public camping ban.
         (b)  In compliance with Subsection (a), a local entity may
  not prohibit or discourage a peace officer or prosecuting attorney
  who is employed by or otherwise under the direction or control of
  the entity from enforcing a public camping ban.
         (c)  This section does not prohibit a policy that encourages
  diversion or a provision of services in lieu of citation or arrest.
         Sec. 364.003.  INJUNCTIVE RELIEF. (a) The attorney general
  may bring an action in a district court in Travis County or in a
  county in which the principal office of the entity is located to
  enjoin a violation of Section 364.002.
         (b)  The attorney general may recover reasonable expenses
  incurred in obtaining relief under this section, including court
  costs, reasonable attorney's fees, investigative costs, witness
  fees, and deposition costs.
         Sec. 364.004.  DENIAL OF STATE GRANT FUNDS. (a) A local
  entity may not receive state grant funds, and state grant funds for
  the local entity shall be denied, for the state fiscal year
  following the year in which a final judicial determination in an
  action brought under Section 364.003 is made that the entity has
  intentionally violated Section 364.002.
         (b)  The comptroller shall adopt rules to implement this
  section uniformly among the state agencies from which state grant
  funds are distributed to a municipality or county.
         (c)  A local entity that has not violated Section 364.002 may
  not be denied state grant funds, regardless of whether the entity is
  a part of another entity that is in violation of that section.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter PP, Chapter 2306, Government Code, as
  added by this Act, applies only to the designation and use of
  property described by that subchapter that first begins on or after
  the effective date of this Act. The designation and use of property
  described by Subchapter PP, Chapter 2306, Government Code, as added
  by this Act, that first began before the effective date of this Act
  is governed by the law in effect when the designation and use first
  began, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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