Proposed bill could fine homeless people for camping and soliciting
SB 1610 would bring criminal charges to people who camp or solicit along exit ramps, and roadways.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - In Knoxville, about 800 people were experiencing homelessness at any given time according to city data.
Senate Bill 1610 would make it a class C misdemeanor for people to solicit or camp at exit and entry ramps, or controlled-access highways.
WVLT News asked people in the downtown Knoxville community about the proposed law.
One man said, “I think every decent citizen in this state should be horrified and offended.”
Others said they typically don’t acknowledge the homeless, or they will give food but not money. The majority of people agreed that at times the encounter can be uncomfortable.
“I don’t think someone should be penalized just because they’re homeless,” said Burt Rosen with KARM.
The bill passed through the House and Senate, and is being prepared to be sent to Gov. Bill Lee for approval.
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