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Archive for May 3rd, 2019


‘Right To Survive’ Initiative: This City Might
Give Homeless People the Right to Camp

 | APRIL 29, 2019

Jerry Burton, 57, stands beside his tent in downtown Denver. A ballot question before Denver voters next week, an initiative called “Right to Survive,” would make sleeping on the streets easier. (Pew Charitable Trust)jerry Burton, 57, stands beside his tent in downtown Denver. A ballot question before Denver voters next week, an initiative called “Right to Survive,” would make sleeping on the streets easier. (Pew Charitable Trust) Jerry Burton has lived in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in Denver for the past few months, in an orange tent pitched on a sidewalk. He and the other homeless campers on the block — Burton proudly calls the encampment “Jerr-E-Ville,” and has declared himself the unofficial mayor — are defying the city’s urban camping ban, which means they are always bracing for a visit from the police.

A caseworker from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is trying to find permanent housing for the 57-year-old Marine Corps veteran whose tent is surrounded by his belongings neatly arranged in small plastic bags. In the meantime, Burton is hoping that Denver voters next week will overturn the city’s camping ban, thanks to an initiative he and others petitioned to get on the ballot.
The ballot question, dubbed the “Right to Survive,” would declare that everyone has the right to rest, eat and shelter in public places without being harassed. Supporters say it would shield people experiencing homelessness from unfair citations and arrests.  But business, environmental and social service organizations fear it would proliferate dangerous encampments in parks and on sidewalks without helping to house people.  “I find Initiative 300 to be one of the most frightening and heinous initiatives that I’ve witnessed in my career,” said Jeff Shoemaker, a former Republican state representative and executive director of the Greenway Foundation, a nonprofit that works to revitalize the South Platte River and its tributaries.
The Denver initiative is the latest front in a campaign advocates for homeless people have been waging at the state level for years. Lawmakers in California, Oregon and Colorado have repeatedly introduced bills that, by articulating a “right to rest,” would override local ordinances that penalize people for living in public spaces. Lawmakers in Washington state proposed similar legislation this year. None of the bills passed.
So Denver Homeless Out Loud, an advocacy group that backed the Colorado legislation, decided to take the issue to voters. If the first-of-its-kind “Right to Survive” ballot initiative is successful — a late January/early February poll taken by the opposition campaign suggested it could be approved — its supporters are likely to try to pass similar initiatives elsewhere in Colorado and across the West.
“If it passes, we hopefully may not have to run another statewide initiative,” said Democratic Rep. Jovan Melton, sponsor of the Colorado Right to Rest bill. “We may be able to go just city by city to deal with this.”

When Living on the Street Is a Crime

About 552,000 people in the United States are living on the street, in emergency shelters or in transitional housing, according to the latest count from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Most people experiencing homelessness are clustered in expensive cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Seattle. Cities nationwide have laws on the books intended to keep destitute people moving and out of sight. One-third of 187 cities surveyed by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit, prohibit camping in public. About a quarter of cities surveyed prohibit sleeping in certain public places, and almost half prohibit sitting or lying down in public.
Even if a person is just sitting outside or sleeping in a clean tent, they can be told to either move on or be issued a fine, said Tristia Bauman, a senior attorney at the law center. “Even those activities are treated as public health and safety threats, when they are not.” The Denver City Council in 2012 passed an urban camping ordinance that prohibits people from pitching tarps and tents or even covering themselves with a blanket in public places. Other city ordinances ban aggressive panhandling, public urination, and sitting or lying down in a public right of way, among other activities.
Other Colorado cities have passed similar laws, said Nantiya Ruan, a law professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. “In our largest cities, we disproportionately cite and jail those who are homeless for these types of ordinances, and it costs the city a lot of money to do so,” she said. But enforcement is spotty. Denver police officers typically tell people violating the camping ban to move rather than throwing them in jail. Under the ordinance, police officers are required to give offenders a warning and try to connect them to assistance, such as addiction treatment, before making an arrest.

Florida Legislature 2019 Bill Summaries – these some are bills that passed.

The 2019 Bill Summaries are reports created by committee staff that give brief explanations of legislation that passed this session in both the House and Senate. These summaries are created by committee staff and do not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.
All bill may be viewed at:

None of these summaries represents the opinion of any legislature, for information purpose only.

  • CS/CS/HB 741 — Anti-Semitism

    by Education Committee; Criminal Justice Committee; and Reps. Fine, Caruso, and others (CS/SB 1272 by Judiciary Committee and Senators Gruters, Galvano, Albritton, Baxley, Bean, Benaquisto, Berman, Book, Bracy, Bradley, Brandes, Braynon, Broxson, Diaz, Farmer, Flores, Gainer, Gibson, Harrell, Hooper, Hutson, Lee, Mayfield, Montford, Passidomo, Perry, Pizzo, Powell, Rader, Rodriguez, Rouson, Simmons, Simpson, Stargel, Stewart, Taddeo, Thurston, Torres, Wright and Cruz)
    The bill prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion in the K-20 public school system. Additionally, the bill requires public K-20 educational institutions to treat discrimination “by students or employees or resulting from institutional policies motivated by anti-Semitic intent in an identical manner to discrimination motivated by race.”
    If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect upon becoming law.
  • CS/SB 292 — Education

    by Military and Veterans Affairs and Space Committee and Senator Lee

    This bill allows a student who is graduating from a public pre-K-12 educational institution to wear a dress military uniform to the graduation ceremony. Specifically, the bill prohibits a district school board from preventing a student from lawfully wearing to his or her graduation ceremony a dress uniform of any of the Armed Forces of the state or of the United States.
    If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect upon becoming law.
  • CS/CS/SB 96 — Police, Fire, and Search and Rescue Dogs and Police Horses

    by Rules Committee; Criminal Justice Committee; and Senators Bean, Hutson, Book, Wright, and Perry

    The bill (Chapter 2019-9, L.O.F.) increases the penalty from a third degree felony to a second degree felony for intentionally and knowingly, without lawful cause or justification, causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or death to, or using a deadly weapon upon, a police, fire, or search and rescue (SAR) canine, or a police horse. The bill makes corresponding changes to the offense severity ranking chart.  The bill expands the definitions of police canine and SAR canine to include a canine that is owned, or the service of which is employed, by a correctional agency.  The bill also replaces the word “dog” with the word “canine” in ss. 767.16 and 843.19, F.S.
    These provisions were approved by the Governor and take effect October 1, 2019.
  • CS/HB 107 — Wireless Communications While Driving 

    by Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee and Reps. Toledo, Slosberg and others (CS/CS/CS/CS/SB 76 by Rules Committee; Judiciary Committee; Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee; Infrastructure and Security Committee and Senators Simpson, Passidomo, Hooper, Mayfield, Book, Rouson, Berman, Perry, Taddeo, Cruz, and Stewart)

    The bill changes current enforcement of the ban on texting while driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense, which will allow a law enforcement officer to stop a vehicle solely for texting while driving.
    The bill creates a new section of statute titled “school and work zones; prohibition on the use of a wireless communications device in a handheld manner.” It authorizes enforcement of a ban on the use of a wireless communications device in a handheld manner while operating a motor vehicle in a designated school crossing, school zone, or active work zone area as a primary offense punishable as a moving violation. The bill provides for enforcement only by a warning from October 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019, after which a person may be issued a citation.
    For both texting while driving and use of a wireless communications device in a handheld manner while operating a motor vehicle in a designated school crossing, school zone, or work zone the bill:
    • Allows for a statewide public education and awareness campaign;
    • Requires a law enforcement officer to inform the motor vehicle operator that he or she has a right to decline a search of his or her wireless communications device;
    • Prohibits a law enforcement officer from accessing the wireless communications device without a warrant, confiscating the device while waiting for the issuance of a warrant, or using coercion or other improper method to convince the operator to provide access to such device without a warrant; and
    • Requires a law enforcement officer to record the race and ethnicity of a person issued a citation for texting while driving or for the use of a wireless communications device in a handheld manner while operating a motor vehicle in a designated school crossing, school zone, or active work zone area.

    If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2019, with a later effective date of October 1, 2019, for the implementation of the prohibition on the use of a wireless communications device in a handheld manner in school and work zones.

  • CS/HB 311 — Autonomous Vehicles

    by State Affairs Committee and Rep. Fischer (CS/CS/SB 932 by Appropriations Committee; Infrastructure and Security Committee; and Senator Brandes)

    The bill revises various provisions of law relating to autonomous vehicles. The bill deems an automated driving system to be the operator of an autonomous vehicle while operating in autonomous mode, regardless of whether a person is physically present in the vehicle. The bill authorizes operation of a fully autonomous vehicle on Florida roads regardless of whether a human operator is physically present in the vehicle. Under the bill, a licensed human operator is not required to operate a fully autonomous vehicle. The bill authorizes an autonomous vehicle or a fully autonomous vehicle equipped with a teleoperation system to operate without a human operator physically present in the vehicle when the teleoperation system is engaged. A remote human operator must be physically present in the United States and be licensed to operate a motor vehicle by a United States jurisdiction.
    If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2019


The bill  SB 168 passed the state Senate 22-18 and the state House 68-45. It now heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk to be signed.

The Republican governor praised the bill Thursday and said in a statement, “We are a stronger state when we protect our residents, foster safe communities and respect the work of law enforcement at every level.”

The bill requires “state entities, local governmental entities, and law enforcement agencies to use best efforts to support the enforcement of federal immigration law,” according to its text.

It prohibits restrictions “by the entities and agencies on taking certain actions with respect to information regarding a person’s immigration status,” and authorizes “a law enforcement agency to transport an alien unlawfully present in the United States under certain circumstances.”

Dan Bongino Show on the Barr Hearings – Bombshell Revelations Emerge

Ep. 971 Bombshell Revelations Emerge. The Dan Bongino Show 5/2/2019.


John Nelson -
Bob Gilmore
Dick Fankhauser

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