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Oregon 'Right to Rest Act' would let homeless treat tents on public sidewalks as private residences — and sue for $1,000 if 'harassed'

Oregon 'Right to Rest Act' would let homeless treat tents on public sidewalks as private residences — and sue for $1,000 if 'harassed'

An Oregon bill called the "Right to Rest Act" would decriminalize camping in public places and give homeless people the ability to treat property — like tents — as private residences even when they're on public sidewalks, KATU-TV reported.

What are the details?

HB3501 asserts that homeless people would be entitled to "a privacy interest and a reasonable expectation of privacy in any property belonging to the person, regardless of whether the property is located in a public space," KATU said, adding that means they can treat public spaces like private residences "without discrimination and time limitations that are based on housing status."

The station added that homeless people also can sue for up to $1,000 if they are "swept, told to relocate, or otherwise 'harassed' as per the bill."

Jimmy Jones — executive director of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency — told KATU that "most of the advocate community in the state really want to establish a constitutional right to exist, and I am very sympathetic with that position because I don’t believe that when people lose their housing they lose their legal and constitutional rights."

Decriminalize public camping, "Right to rest" bill proposed in Oregon legislatureyoutu.be

How are folks reacting?

A number of commenters underneath the KATU video report on YouTube didn't seem thrilled by the bill:

  • "Every advocate for this can lead the way and open up their property to campers," one commenter suggested. "Show us how it’s done."
  • "Making it easier than it already is? How many of these encampments will be the source of forest fires this year?" another commenter wondered.
  • "This is the opposite of what we need..." another commenter declared.
  • "WTF," another commenter wrote. "Democrats just get [crazier] by the day."
  • "Once again, Oregon is its own worst enemy ..." another commenter lamented.

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