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1191 on “Right to Rest” 2016 in Colorado Input Is Welcomed

February 6, 2016

Second Regular Session Seventieth General Assembly STATE OF COLORADO INTRODUCED LLS NO. 16-0114.01 Jane Ritter x4342 HOUSE BILL 16-1191 House Committees Senate Committees Local Government A BILL FOR AN ACT 101 CONCERNING THE CREATION OF A BILL OF RIGHTS FOR PERSONS 102 EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS. Bill Summary (Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced and does not reflect any amendments that may be subsequently adopted. If this bill passes third reading in the house of introduction, a bill summary that applies to the reengrossed version of this bill will be available at http://www.leg.state.co.us/billsummaries.) The bill creates the “Colorado Right to Rest Act”, which establishes basic rights for persons experiencing homelessness, including, but not limited to, the right to use and move freely in public spaces without discrimination, to rest in public spaces without discrimination, to eat or accept food in any public space where food is not prohibited, to occupy a legally parked vehicle, and to have a reasonable expectation of HOUSE SPONSORSHIP Salazar and Melton, SENATE SPONSORSHIP (None), Shading denotes HOUSE amendment. Double underlining denotes SENATE amendment. Capital letters indicate new material to be added to existing statute. Dashes through the words indicate deletions from existing statute. privacy of one’s property. The bill does not create an obligation for a provider of services for persons experiencing homelessness to provide shelter or services when none are available. 1 Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado: 2 SECTION 1. In Colorado Revised Statutes, add article 4.5 to title 3 24 as follows: 4 ARTICLE 4.5 5 Colorado Right to Rest Act 6 24-4.5-101. Short title. THE SHORT TITLE OF THIS ARTICLE IS THE 7 “COLORADO RIGHT TO REST ACT”. 8 24-4.5-102. Legislative declaration. (1) THE GENERAL 9 ASSEMBLY FINDS AND DECLARES THAT: 10 (a) MANY PERSONS EXPERIENCE HOMELESSNESS BECAUSE OF 11 ECONOMIC HARDSHIP, A SEVERE SHORTAGE OF SAFE AND AFFORDABLE 12 HOUSING, THE INABILITY TO SECURE GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT, AND A 13 DISINTEGRATING AND SHRINKING SOCIAL SAFETY NET; 14 (b) RESPONDING TO THE GROWING CRISIS OF HOMELESSNESS WITH 15 CRIMINAL SANCTIONS TO PUSH PEOPLE OUT OF PUBLIC SPACES AND INTO 16 COURTS AND JAILS IS COSTLY, INHUMANE, INEFFECTIVE, AND VIOLATES 17 BASIC CIVIL, HUMAN, AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS; 18 (c) THE EXISTENCE OF HOMELESSNESS REQUIRES THAT CIVIL AND 19 HUMAN RIGHTS THAT ARE AMPLY PROTECTED IN THE HOME AND IN OTHER 20 PRIVATE PLACES BE EXTENDED TO THE PUBLIC SPACES IN WHICH PERSONS 21 EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS LIVE TO ENSURE THE EQUAL RIGHTS OF ALL 22 COLORADANS; 23 (d) CITIES THROUGHOUT COLORADO ARE ENACTING AND 24 ENFORCING LAWS THAT CRIMINALIZE BASIC ACTS OF SURVIVAL, SUCH AS -2- HB16-1191 1 SLEEPING, SITTING, LOITERING, SLEEPING IN A LEGALLY PARKED VEHICLE, 2 HAVING A REASONABLE EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY IN PERSONAL 3 PROPERTY, STORING BELONGINGS, ASKING FOR HELP, AND USING A 4 BLANKET TO COVER ONESELF IN A NON-OBSTRUCTIVE MANNER 5 REGARDLESS OF OUTDOOR TEMPERATURE. SUCH LAWS RESULT IN PEOPLE 6 IN COLORADO BEING CRIMINALLY PUNISHED FOR DOING WHAT ANY 7 PERSON MUST DO TO SURVIVE. 8 (e) LOCAL ORDINANCES OF THIS KIND DO NOT REDUCE THE 9 INCIDENCE OF HOMELESSNESS OR CRIME. INSTEAD, THEY INCREASE 10 INCARCERATION RATES AND THE FINANCIAL INDEBTEDNESS OF PEOPLE 11 WHO SIMPLY HAVE NO MEANS OF SUPPORTING THEMSELVES. THE LOCAL 12 ORDINANCES PROLONG HOMELESSNESS BY MAKING IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR 13 PEOPLE TO SECURE HOUSING, EMPLOYMENT, AND MEDICAL CARE. 14 (f) WHILE THESE LOCAL ORDINANCES APPLY TO ALL RESIDENTS OF 15 A CITY OR MUNICIPALITY, THEY DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACT PEOPLE 16 EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS.THEY ARE OFTEN SELECTIVELY ENFORCED 17 AGAINST PEOPLE BASED UPON THEIR APPEARANCE OR AN ASSUMPTION OF 18 HOMELESSNESS. 19 (g) PROHIBITING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FROM PASSING OR 20 ENFORCING LAWS THAT DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACT PERSONS 21 EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS, OR THAT HAVE THE DIRECT INTENT TO 22 IMPACT PERSONS EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS, ALLOWS LOCAL 23 GOVERNMENTS TO REDIRECT RESOURCES AND SHIFT THE FOCUS FROM LAW 24 ENFORCEMENT TO POSITIVE APPROACHES THAT DIRECTLY ADDRESS 25 HOMELESSNESS AND POVERTY. 26 24-4.5-103. Definitions. AS USED IN THIS ARTICLE, UNLESS THE 27 CONTEXT OTHERWISE REQUIRES: -3- HB16-1191 1 (1) “DISCRIMINATION BASED ON HOUSING STATUS” MEANS ANY 2 DISTINCTION, EXCLUSION, OR RESTRICTION BASED SOLELY ON WHETHER 3 AN INDIVIDUAL HAS A FIXED OR REGULAR RESIDENCE. “DISCRIMINATION 4 BASED ON HOUSING STATUS” ALSO INCLUDES ANY ACTION THAT 5 DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTS PERSONS OF A PARTICULAR HOUSING 6 STATUS. MEASURES TAKEN TO ENSURE EQUAL ENJOYMENT OR TO 7 EXERCISE THE HUMAN RIGHT TO REST ARE NOT CONSIDERED 8 DISCRIMINATORY. 9 (2) “DISTRICT” MEANS A BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT AS 10 DEFINED IN SECTION 31-25-1203 (3), C.R.S. 11 (3) “DISTRICT AGENT” MEANS A PERSON HIRED BY A DISTRICT. 12 (4) “HARASSMENT” MEANS A KNOWING OR WILLFUL COURSE OF 13 CONDUCT BY LAW ENFORCEMENT, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SECURITY 14 PERSONNEL, OR A DISTRICT AGENT THAT IS DIRECTED AT A SPECIFIC 15 PERSON AND THAT A REASONABLE PERSON WOULD CONSIDER SERIOUSLY 16 ALARMING, THREATENING, TORMENTING, OR TERRORIZING, OR CONDUCT 17 THAT PREVENTS OR DISRUPTS A PERSON CONDUCTING NONCRIMINAL 18 ACTIVITIES FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING THE PERSON MOVE ALONG. 19 (5) “MOTOR VEHICLE” HAS THE SAME MEANING AS SET FORTH IN 20 SECTION 42-1-102 (58), C.R.S., AND INCLUDES AUTOMOBILES, CAMPER 21 TRAILERS, COMMERCIAL VEHICLES, AND MOTOR HOMES, AS THOSE MOTOR 22 VEHICLES ARE DEFINED IN SECTION 42-1-102, C.R.S. 23 (6) “PERSON EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS” MEANS A PERSON 24 WHO DOES NOT HAVE A FIXED OR REGULAR RESIDENCE AND WHO MAY LIVE 25 ON THE STREET OR OUTDOORS, IN A HOMELESS SHELTER OR OTHER 26 TEMPORARY RESIDENCE, IN A VEHICLE, OR IN AN ENCLOSURE OR 27 STRUCTURE THAT IS NOT AUTHORIZED OR FIT FOR HUMAN HABITATION. -4- HB16-1191 1 (7) “PUBLIC SPACE” MEANS ANY PROPERTY THAT IS OWNED, IN 2 WHOLE OR IN PART, BY A STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY, OR ANY 3 PROPERTY UPON WHICH THERE IS AN EASEMENT FOR PUBLIC USE, AND 4 THAT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, INCLUDING PLAZAS, COURTYARDS, PARKING 5 LOTS, SIDEWALKS, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES AND SERVICES, 6 PUBLIC BUILDINGS, SHOPPING CENTERS, AND PARKS. WHEN USED IN THE 7 CONTEXT OF AN ENCLOSED BUILDING OR STRUCTURE, THE TERM “PUBLIC 8 SPACE” APPLIES ONLY WHEN THE BUILDING OR STRUCTURE IS OPEN TO THE 9 PUBLIC. 10 (8) “REST” MEANS THE STATE OF NOT MOVING AND HOLDING 11 CERTAIN POSTURES THAT INCLUDE SITTING, STANDING, LEANING, 12 KNEELING, SQUATTING, SLEEPING, OR LYING DOWN. 13 24-4.5-104. Protected rights of persons experiencing 14 homelessness – prohibition of laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances 15 that abridge rights. (1) A PERSON EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS IS 16 PERMITTED TO USE PUBLIC SPACE IN THE SAME MANNER AS ANY OTHER 17 PERSON AND IS TO BE FREE FROM DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF 18 HOUSING STATUS. 19 (2) THE STATE OF COLORADO AND THE COUNTIES, CITIES, 20 MUNICIPALITIES, AND OTHER SUBDIVISIONS OF THE STATE ARE 21 ENCOURAGED NOT TO ENACT ANY LAW, ORDINANCE, RULE, OR 22 REGULATION THAT LIMITS, PROHIBITS, OR PENALIZES: 23 (a) THE RIGHT TO USE AND MOVE FREELY IN PUBLIC SPACES; 24 (b) THE RIGHT TO REST IN PUBLIC SPACES AND PROTECT ONESELF 25 FROM THE ELEMENTS IN A MANNER THAT DOES NOT OBSTRUCT THE USE OF 26 OR ACCESS TO PRIVATE PROPERTY; 27 (c) THE RIGHT TO EAT, SHARE, ACCEPT, OR GIVE FOOD IN ANY -5- HB16-1191 1 PUBLIC SPACE WHERE FOOD IS NOT PROHIBITED; 2 (d) THE RIGHT TO OCCUPY A PERSON’S OWN MOTOR VEHICLE OR 3 OCCUPY A MOTOR VEHICLE WITH THE OWNER’S PERMISSION, PROVIDED 4 THAT THE MOTOR VEHICLE IS LEGALLY PARKED ON PUBLIC PROPERTY OR 5 PARKED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE PROPERTY 6 OWNER; AND 7 (e) THE RIGHT TO A REASONABLE EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY ON 8 ONE’S PERSONAL PROPERTY IN PUBLIC SPACES TO THE SAME EXTENT AS 9 PERSONAL PROPERTY IN A PRIVATE RESIDENCE OR OTHER PRIVATE PLACE. 10 (3) THE STATE, AND ANY COUNTY, CITY, MUNICIPALITY, OR OTHER 11 SUBDIVISION THAT HAS LAWS, ORDINANCES, RULES, OR REGULATIONS 12 THAT LIMIT, PROHIBIT, OR PENALIZE ANY OF THE ACTIVITIES SET FORTH IN 13 SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION SHALL CEASE ENFORCEMENT OF SUCH 14 LAWS, ORDINANCES, RULES, OR REGULATIONS UPON THE EFFECTIVE DATE 15 OF THIS SECTION. 16 (4) EVERY PERSON HAS THE RIGHTS ENUMERATED IN SUBSECTION 17 (2) OF THIS SECTION AND MAY EXERCISE THOSE RIGHTS WITHOUT BEING 18 SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL OR CIVIL SANCTIONS OR HARASSMENT BY LAW 19 ENFORCEMENT, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SECURITY PERSONNEL, OR DISTRICT 20 AGENTS. 21 24-4.5-105. Liability. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE DO NOT 22 CREATE AN OBLIGATION ON THE PART OF ANY PROVIDER OF SERVICES TO 23 PERSONS EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS TO PROVIDE SHELTER OR OTHER 24 SERVICES WHEN NO SUCH SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE OR WHEN THE RULES 25 OR POLICIES OF THE PROVIDER DISQUALIFY THE PERSON FROM RECEIVING 26 SERVICES. 27 SECTION 2. Act subject to petition – effective date. This act -6- HB16-1191 1 takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the 2 ninety-day period after final adjournment of the general assembly (August 3 10, 2016, if adjournment sine die is on May 11, 2016); except that, if a 4 referendum petition is filed pursuant to section 1 (3) of article V of the 5 state constitution against this act or an item, section, or part of this act 6 within such period, then the act, item, section, or part will not take effect 7 unless approved by the people at the general election to be held in 8 November 2016 and, in such case, will take effect on the date of the 9 official declaration of the vote thereon by the governor. -7- HB16-1191

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