Homeless Bill of Rights Heading for California's State Assembly

Has been narrowed to appease concerns of business owners


Citing the need to ensure equal treatment for indigent Californians, lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a homeless rights bill that they said has been narrowed to assuage the concerns of businesses and city governments.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, framed Assembly Bill 5 as an attempt to create a statewide base line of homeless civil rights, citing a proliferation of municipal ordinances cracking down on behavior such as sleeping on the sidewalk as an example of the "criminalization of poor people."

"Today numerous laws infringe on poor peoples' ability to exist in public space, to acquire housing, employment and basic services and to equal protection under the laws," Ammiano said.