MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee lawmakers are considering a bill aimed at stopping people from camping on public property across the state.
The proposed law would make it a misdemeanor offense punishable by a $50 fine plus community service for soliciting or camping along a highway or entrance or exit ramp. It would also make it against the law for a person to camp under a bridge or overpass.
The offense of unauthorized camping would also apply to all public property in Tennessee.
HB 0978 passed in the Tennessee House last year but failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It was placed back on the committee docket Tuesday.
Homeless advocates worry the bill is targeting those already in vulnerable positions, because misdemeanor charges can mean people could be denied employment opportunities or housing.