Homeless camping ban that Gov. DeSantis wants is ready for House vote

The Governor has complained about the unhoused population, and this may be a way to handle the problem.

After a number of failed amendments from Democratic legislators, a measure that would ban public sleeping by unhoused people is positioned for a House vote.

The Republican Rep. Sam Garrison bill has been called a “carrot and stick” approach to managing the homeless problem in the state.

HB 1365 bans counties and municipalities from permitting public sleeping or public camping on public property without explicit permission, in a move deemed by the bill language to fulfill an “important state interest,” with what Garrison has called a “Florida model” for handling the issue.

Counties would be charged with setting up encampments that ban drugs and alcohol and include rehabilitative social services as a way of enforcing the prohibition against rough sleeping. The camps could only be in one place for 365 consecutive days

Those conditions include clean restrooms, running water, security on premises and bans on drugs and alcohol. They must also be located in places that don’t impact the value of nearby properties.

Democrats attempted to change the language to no avail, with eight amendments rejected.

These included a Rep. Anna Eskamani measure that would have allowed counties to designate camps for longer than the 365 days stipulated in the bill, and a Rep. Susan Valdes amendment that would have pushed back the effective date of this bill to 2026.

Garrison brought an amendment of his own, one he said he’d crafted with the Florida Association of Counties, that did succeed. It moves back the effective date for the cause of action, which allows people to sue localities for not implementing the rule, to Jan. 1, 2025.

Other components of the bill would go into effect Oct. 1.

The legislation accords with a state desire by the Governor to have camps such as those outlined in this bill and the Senate companion (SB 1630), with restrictions on what occupants can do and “help” available, in efforts to include what he has called “judicial scrutiny.”

“You got to have sheltering ability and then if they want to set up some of these sites, it can’t just be some site that is like Sodom and Gomorrah where they’re using drugs and doing all this stuff. It needs to be a situation where help is available,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said last week.

The Governor, who has suggested institutionalization should be brought back, said that mental health help for the unhoused is “important.”

To that end, the legislation includes “behavioral health services, which must include substance abuse and mental health treatment resources.”

DeSantis also previously suggested that locally provided homeless camps were only necessary because of a perhaps misguided legal interpretation from the Earl Warren-era SCOTUS.

“Courts have said you have to do that. I’m not sure that’s what the Constitution actually says. But you know what? This is the Warren Court and they just made it up as they went along.”

The Governor has said he doesn’t want Florida to “become San Francisco” in repeated denunciations of that city’s problem with unhoused people. This legislation may be the vehicle to that end.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Dont Say FLA

    February 29, 2024 at 1:38 pm

    Free State of Florida says Government license required to sleep

    Free State of Florida says Government license required to use social media

    Free State of Florida says Government license required to strip

    Free State of Florida says Government license not required for all the guns and ammo you can afford and/or buy on credit

  • Faye Driver

    February 29, 2024 at 1:39 pm

    We have the Fema camps.. Why not use them

  • Mike

    February 29, 2024 at 1:56 pm

    Pretty sure that Senate bill should SB 1530, not SB 1630.

  • Michael K

    February 29, 2024 at 1:59 pm

    Yes, let’s just sweep the growing number of human beings lacking housing under the rug so we don’t have to look at them – otherwise, we have to admit that unsheltered people exist. Let’s call them all “mentally ill” because that’s far more convenient than admitting that there is a wide range of circumstances that force people to sleep in their cars, on the streets, and elsewhere when there is no place for them to go. Florida has the third highest homeless rate in the nation according to US News & World Report.

    Real leadership is needed to provide some real solutions, not just hide the reality.

  • Betty Boo

    February 29, 2024 at 2:03 pm

    I don’t care where they will sleep. Where will they poop? Where are they currently doing the doo?

    • Poople Maps

      February 29, 2024 at 3:18 pm

      Rhonda’s Poop Maps (TM) will be distributed to all homelesses and poors fixing to become homelesses ASAP.

  • ScienceBLVR

    February 29, 2024 at 4:57 pm

    Gov says…it can’t just be some site that is like Sodom and Gomorrah where they’re using drugs and doing all this stuff.. they were doing drugs back then? Wasn’t sure,
    so I looked up the sins of S&G. homosexuality a big one- the men in town wanted to f@$& the male angels visiting. But the other wicked ways included pride, apathy, complacency, idleness, and unconcern for the underprivileged.
    Note the last one, bible thumpers, and that includes you, Gov..

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 29, 2024 at 5:39 pm

      Rhonda is very concerned with Florida’s unprivileged. He constantly has to pretend they do not exist, stepping over them, around them, averting their gaze at stop lights, and least but not least making sure he is never inconvenienced as a result of their pooping like the dirty dirty humans they are.

  • Ron Forrest Ron

    February 29, 2024 at 5:59 pm

    What’s wrong with homeless people going camping? After a day or two of housed people gone camping, can anybody even tell them from a homeless person gone camping in the same campground?

  • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

    February 29, 2024 at 7:29 pm

    Good evening to all concerned citizens,
    Relax your sphincters, this legislation will logically sunset within 10 months after we get the Sage Republicans back in control of The White House.
    At that time we will have most illegals properly deported and the distructive effects of 8iden-nomics abated.
    We will be close to 100% employment and homelessness will no longer be an issue.
    So once again stop being such worry-warts and relax your sphincters secure in the knowledge that Earl Knows Best.
    Love you all,
    Earl Pitts American

    • rick whitaker

      March 1, 2024 at 8:36 pm


  • MH/Duuuval

    March 1, 2024 at 10:06 am

    So, Hoovervilles then and now are the consequence of something done by Earl Warren in the 1950s?

    Rather expansive point of view for a so-called originalist.

  • rick whitaker

    March 1, 2024 at 8:46 pm

    bad governor = homeless duh!

  • Elaine Colling

    March 2, 2024 at 5:52 pm


  • Elaine

    March 2, 2024 at 5:54 pm


Comments are closed.


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